We've never even dreamed of it: How Turkey became the world leader in the production of drones
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We've never even dreamed of it: How Turkey became the world leader in the production of drones

19 October , 13:06
For some one and a half decades, drones have become a kind of Turkish national symbol.

It is no secret that in modern warfare, drones have begun to play one of the main roles, and the fighting not so long ago in Syria or today in Nagorno-Karabakh is a clear example of this. It is also no secret that Turkey currently occupies a leading position in the production and use of combat drones.

The online publication The Intercept has devoted a lot of material to how this country was able to take a leading place in the world in the development and production of combat drones, becoming, by the way, the only one in the world that regularly uses them on its territory against its citizens. Now Turkey is capable of producing heavy, shock drones on a par with the United States, Israel and partly China on its own element base. In addition, Turkey rivals the US and UK as the most active drone user in the world. The Turks have used this technology extensively against ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) in Syria, as well as along their borders with Iraq and Iran, where Turkish drones fought against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels.

The Turkish drone program also has its own godfather, whose name is Selcuk Bayraktar. In 2005, Bayraktar persuaded a group of Turkish officials to attend a small demonstration of a drone he made with his own hands. Prior to that, the inventor studied electrical engineering at the best university in Turkey, received his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Returning to his homeland, he began to create technology, which will become one of the main in the wars of the near future.

“Many of my friends have received grants to work on US military projects,” he explained to Turkish officials. “I want to work for Turkey. If you support this project, then in five years Turkey can easily take the leading positions in the world".

A year later, in 2006, Bayraktar won the competition to create a military mini-drone, and Ankara began to deploy them in the southeast of the country.

The developers borrowed the basis for creating drones from the United States and Israel, buying old devices from them. Dismantled, looked, began to improve. And they began to create the most modern drones in 10-12 years, which is a very short time by world standards. The costs of this project paid off in full already in 2015, when the Turks demonstrated their most modern drone TB2. From a height of 4 km, he hit a target at a distance of 8 km using a Turkish-made guided missile.

Modern Turkish UAVs are already capable of climbing to an altitude of 7.5 km and carrying a payload of up to 550 kg, the flight and hover time is up to 24 hours.

By the way, in the same year Bayraktar made another radical move - married to the youngest daughter of President Erdogan, and since then, his company has become a major manufacturer of drones to Turkey.

Drones are primarily used to combat Kurdish insurgents: today, drones almost constantly roam the sky in the southeast of the country, either firing at a target or locating it so that it can then be bombed by an F-16 or an attack helicopter.

It was these facts that raised the popularity of drones in Turkey to such an extent that they became a kind of cultural symbol. Several TB2 drones have even been signed by President Erdogan.

It will not be harmful to remind that the per capita income in Turkey is about the same as in Russia, and our countries are technologically developed about the same, however, this did not prevent the Turks from creating such an important industry in a short time, in which Russia lags far behind. despite all the good intentions. And all because instead of developing technologies, all efforts of Russian officials are focused on how to grab a bigger piece of the oil pie by sucking on the budget...

By the way, drones bring Turkey a very good income, they sell their goods that are not inferior in quality to American or Israeli ones, 20-30% cheaper than the same USA or Israel...

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