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UK may buy Turkish drones, Industry Minister says

Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank in Ankara, Turkey on 6 October 2021 [Aytaç Ünal/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank in Ankara, Turkey on 6 October 2021 [Aytaç Ünal/Anadolu Agency]

The United Kingdom may consider the purchase of Turkish drones, Turkey's minister of industry and technology revealed yesterday.

Speaking to CNN Turk, Mustafa Varank said that "the UK is very interested in Turkish armed drones. Now, they have to decide. We presented them with the options. Right now, they're seriously considering these options."

Varank's announcement came after similar comments and predictions he made early this year at a defence and aerospace industry event in Istanbul, in which he stated that "I believe that in the very near future, we'll see Bayraktars and Ankas [Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles] purchased from Turkey flying in European skies, as well."

Turkish-made drones gained worldwide popularity following their success and effectiveness in combat during the conflicts in Syria, Libya, and Nagorno-Karabakh last year.

READ: Turkey among top 3 countries in world in combat drone technology

Since then, a number of countries have requested to purchase fleets of drones from Turkey such as the Bayraktar TB2, including Ukraine, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Morocco, and Albania.

The UK has also showed a particular interest in Turkish combat drones, with the British defence secretary Ben Wallace having praised them as "game-changing" and as a "real challenge" to enemies.

The UAVs have also boosted Turkey's domestic arms industry and raised its value overall, with the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) revealing that defence and aviation exports amounted to $2.1 billion in the first three quarters of this year, marking a 39 per cent increase from last year's $1.5 billion.

READ: Turkey, Azerbaijan drone success should worry Europe, says European Council analyst

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