Report: Turkey plans to return 'poor' Israeli UAVs

'Defense News' quotes Turkish procurement official as saying contract for 3 Aerostar UAVs is "at the stage of cancellation."

November 6, 2012 14:09
Aerostar UAV

Aerostar UAV 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Jose Saavedra)


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Turkey plans to return three Aerostar UAVs to Israel due to "poor performance," the global newsweekly Defense News reported this week.

“The contract is at a stage of cancellation,” the report quoted a procurement official as saying.

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The UAV, produced by Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems based in Yavne, has a range of 200 kilometers and is capable of carrying an 80 kilogram payload.

The report quoted Nizar Amir, the Israeli embassy spokesman in Ankara, as saying “We have not been informed by Turkish authorities” about the Turkish position.

Israel is a recognized world leader in the development of UAVs.

Jerusalem's once flourishing military and diplomatic relationship with Ankara crumbled after after Israeli marines stormed the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and killed nine Turks in clashes with activists on board.

The rift has continued despite US efforts to encourage a rapprochement between the two regional powers whose cooperation it needs to address changes sweeping the Middle East.

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