As regional rivals mend relations, Turkey sells battle-tested drones to the United Arab Emirates, according to sources

The United Arab Emirates | After their use in the conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, and Libya, where their laser-guided armour-piercing bombs assisted in repelling an attack by forces backed by the UAE two years ago, Baykar’s drones saw an increase in demand on a global scale.

Up until their reunion last year, the two nations engaged in a tense, decade-long struggle for dominance in the Middle East, which included the civil war in Libya.

The United Arab Emirates

According to military insiders, The UAE and its partner Saudi Arabia are now attempting to use their rapprochement with Turkey to fight a growing security threat from Iran and its proxy forces.

Both Gulf Arab oil-producing nations have seen drone assaults on towns and oil facilities, which they attribute to Houthi forces in Yemen who are allied with Iran.

According to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi were attempting to purchase Bayraktar TB2 drones from Ankara. The source stated, adding that they were transferred earlier this month, “They agreed during the negotiations with the UAE to immediately send 20 weaponized drones.”

Senior Turkish officials admitted that Turkey had given the United Arab Emirates some drones and that the UAE was looking for more. According to the official, Saudi Arabia also desired to purchase armed drones and establish a facility to produce them.

The insider said that Baykar was taking the Saudi government’s proposal for a manufacturing facility into consideration, but added that President Tayyip Erdogan had to make that strategic choice and that other matters, such as Saudi investments in Turkey, “are not going as quickly as feasible.”

Requests for comment from Baykar, the UAE foreign ministry, and the Saudi Arabian government press office went unanswered. The state’s defence industry group declined to comment after being contacted by the Turkish Defense Ministry.

The promise of Gulf investment flows and foreign currency assistance has been a top goal of the political reconciliation, observers say, for Erdogan, who faces a difficult election next year with inflation rampant and the Turkish lira falling.

The only other production facilities for the corporation outside of Turkey are currently under construction in Ukraine, where Bayraktar TB2s assisted in undermining Russia’s overwhelming military supremacy in the weeks following Moscow’s invasion in February.

Due in large part to its victories in the battlefield, Baykar is driving Turkey’s lucrative military exports initiative. CEO Haluk Bayraktar announced last month that Baykar had inked export orders for the TB2 with 22 nations. Haluk manages the business with his brother Selcuk, who is the son-in-law of President Erdogan.

He stated to a Ukrainian military services organisation in August that it presently produces 20 Bayraktar TB2 drones per month and that its order book for those drones and other types was filled for the ensuing three years.

The Senior Turkish official stated that “there are requests for armed drones from numerous countries and regions.” “Some of the nations that have purchased them are putting out further requirements. Although they are delighted with the outcomes, it is technically impossible to satisfy all demand.”

Turkish drones are less expensive and have fewer export restrictions, despite the fact that their technology cannot compete with that of models made by market leaders Israel and The USA . A Western military source claimed that they outperform the Chinese or Iranian drones that Russia used in Ukraine.

The source claimed that although the Shahed and Muhajir Iranian drones “had some of the features of, but not the real-time processing and precision” of the TB2s.

“The UAE and Saudi Arabia want to lessen the effectiveness of the Iranian drones. “They will be able to halt the supply of Iranian drones if they obtain the TB2.”

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