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Today's Zaman

Turkey to manufacture armed version of national drone

18 July 2012, Wednesday /EMRE SONCAN
The Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSİK), which met on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss Turkey's plans to purchase long-range missiles, has decided to arm Ankas, Turkey's domestically manufactured drones.

The US has been unwilling to supply armed Predator drones to Turkey in spite of Turkish requests. Both President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Erdoğan have personally asked US President Barack Obama to authorize the sale of armed Predators, to no avail.

Turkey will now be manufacturing a new version of the Anka that will have bigger engines, according to a Defense Ministry bureaucrat. “The Anka will have a stronger engine. This way it will have a greater load capacity. It will be armed like the US's Predators and Reapers. It will destroy targets by itself.”

The completion of the project is expected to take three to four years.

The Predators Turkey has bought from the US are currently based at an airbase in İncirlik and fly Turkish skies unarmed. The US military has the armed version of the same model. Reapers, which have similar properties to those of Predators, are the backbone of the US military's unmanned air force as they are capable of carrying more and heavier weapons than Predators.

US congressional approval is needed for the sale of such weapons to other countries, but the US administration has said it can't ensure congressional support at this time, resulting in the SSİK decision on Tuesday to produced armed versions of the Anka.

Its one of those things that the nation should pay in $ at any cost as it should be considered a national priority to protect its boarders with competence and efficiency. Turkey has the means, its just sad that we didn't make this decision much earlier. Reverse engineer just like the Israeli's or Ch...
Being independent and having your own weapons infrastructure is always best. This is a good start. It's been years late though. We should never have bought weapons from Israel or the USA. It only delays development of our own industries. Inge: We don't want your weapons since they come from th...
Has it been approved by Israel???
Is the drons not be promised to be ready this summer? so now it is 3-4 years...
"Erdogan Freind"
Im really glad Turkey is building its own Drone Predators v Aliens. And right we should do, don't want to rely on Israel and USA, we should have the means to defend our own country and build our own weapons Nothing against the Yanks or Zion's but we cannot rely on them no more, as they could pull th...
David Starr
We still do not have the Anka in service to patrol our borders . How long is that going to take?
This is good news, if the UAV Anka operates well, i don't think adding arms to it is as challenging as making the UAV. Since Turkey has it's domestic laser guided missiles, this is a feasible project considering the Turkish know-how.
It would be cheaper to buy the higher tech Israeli version but I guess that cannot be done now that Israel has been chosen by erdogan to be Turkey's enemy..
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