Egypt plans to buy 10 Turkish-made drones, according to a report this week by
Istanbul’s Sabah newspaper.
The decision to purchase the ANKA Medium
Altitude Long Endurance unmanned aerial vehicles was made last week, during
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Cairo, and followed a
10-week negotiation, Sabah said.
Sabah quoted Turkey’s defense industry
ministry spokesman Murad Bayar as saying Turkey plans to begin producing the
ANKAs early next year.
The ANKA drones are produced by Turkish Aerospace
Industries, Inc. (TAI) and are designed to provide the Turkish military with a
long-endurance, persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)
The eight-meter-long UAVs have all-weather, day and night ISR
mission capabilities and can track fixed or moving targets, according to
TAI director-general Muharrem Dortkasli told Sabah that other
regional countries have also expressed an interest in the ANKA.
considered purchasing Turkish UAVs since last year, according to reports in the
Turkish and defense industry press. Last year, the Egyptian Navy also signed a
contract for six Turkish-built Yonca-Onuk multi-role tactical platform fast
Ankara’s decision to develop an indigenous UAV came
amid deteriorating relations with Israel, which has previously supplied Turkey
with drones, and also as part of a wider strategy to extend Turkey’s influence
in the region.
Israel became one of Turkey’s major arms suppliers in the
1990s, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet daily newspaper. In 2004, Turkey signed a
$180 million defense contract with Israeli companies for 10 Heron UAVS. However,
defense relations soured in the wake of the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in
Earlier this month, Hurriyet reported that the Turkish military
plans to return three tactical Aerostar UAVs to Israel, citing the drones’ poor
performance against the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Turkey said it would not
return the Herons, however.
Turkey leased the three Aerostars from Israel
for $10 million in 2005, when production of the Herons it ordered was
Earlier this week, Erdogan said that Turkey was “the top third
country in the world” after the US and Israel in terms of UAVs, and that the
country also produced its own infantry rifles, warships and helicopters,
according to Sabah.