Iraq says interested in buying Turkish military equipment

Iraq says interested in buying Turkish military equipment

Iraq says interested in buying Turkish military equipment

Iraq is interested in purchasing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), attack helicopters and advanced weapons from Turkey, the Middle Eastern country’s defense minister has said.

“We asked Turkey for offers and contracts to purchase Bayraktar TB2 [drones], 12 T-129 ATAK helicopters and six unmanned aerial vehicle defense systems,” Juma Inad told a local television station on Aug. 30.

“We reached an agreement on the purchase of the Bayraktar UAV,” he added.

Noting that Turkey’s Bayraktar drones are very advanced and have achieved great success, Inad said they “will be useful” in the fight against ISIL.

Attending the International Defense Industry Fair 2021 (IDEF21) held in Istanbul on Aug. 19, Inad met with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

Turkey has become a major importer of drones in recent years.

The latest locally developed drone, Bayraktar Akıncı long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), was delivered to the Turkish military earlier this week.

Speaking at a ceremony for the occasion, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey ‘has become one of the three most advanced countries in the world in this technology.”

Stressing that all the drones produced by Turkish defense companies are in high demand worldwide, he said new export agreements were signed with more than 10 countries, including NATO member Poland.

Several countries are waiting in line to buy Turkish drones, he said. “It is important that our national technologies contribute to the security of allied countries, but we make our decisions according to our own strategic priorities,” he added.

Baykar Makina CTO Selçuk Bayraktar told reporters after the ceremony that with the experience they gained, they also worked on an unmanned warplane. He said producing unmanned warplanes has been their dream for about 10 years.

Noting that serial production of the Akıncı drone continues, he said they have produced the ninth aerial vehicle, but not all of them were mass-produced.

Contracts for exports of Turkey’s domestically produced Bayraktar TB2 drones have been signed for more than 10 countries, he said, adding that it has flown in four countries besides Turkey.

“Since Akıncı is of course a much more strategic platform, it attracted much more attention when we first started designing it and in the later stages. First of all, we said that we would evaluate those demands by completing our own production, perfecting the aircraft, and making it ready for mass production,” he said.

“There is also a serious demand for the Akıncı since it is a very rare aircraft in a higher class,” he added.