Heron uav 311.
(photo credit: courtesy)
Israel has not instituted a ban on military sales to Turkey, but will carefully
evaluate the participation of Israeli defense industries in tenders there due to
the growing rift between the countries, defense officials said on
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The officials said that while Israel was not currently vying
for a specific tender in Turkey, defense industries were welcome to participate
after receiving approval from the Defense Ministry.
“We cannot ignore
what is happening in Turkey and the radicalization process that is being led by
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” one defense official
Meanwhile Wednesday, a group of Turkish military officers arrived
in Israel for two weeks, during which they will learn how to use the Heron
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) supplied to Turkey as part of a $180 million deal
signed in 2004.
Last week, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit
Systems Ltd. recalled teams of engineers and flight instructors who were
teaching the Turkish military how to use the aircraft, amid growing
that they could be targeted in retaliation for the botched navy raid on
international aid flotilla two weeks ago.
The Turkish delegation’s visit
had been uncertain up until they arrived on Tuesday, officials said, due
growing tension between the countries.
During the raid, navy commandos
boarded the Turkish passenger ship Mavi Marmara and in the ensuing
killed nine passengers, whom the IDF identified as mercenaries hired to
the soldiers. Israel suspects that the Turkish government was involved
financing the mercenaries.
According to officials, the delegation was in
Israel to pick up four remaining drones that had yet to be supplied to
and to learn how to operate them.
Elbit and IAI have told the Turks that
they plan to redeploy their instructional teams in Turkey once the
stabilizes in the coming weeks.