Turkey aims to produce unmanned tanks: Erdoğan
“We will carry it a step further [after domestically produced unmanned aerial vehicles] … We should reach the ability to produce unmanned tanks as well. We will do it,” Erdoğan said at a meeting held at the presidential complex in Ankara on Feb. 21.
Five Turkish soldiers were recently killed in a tank near the Sheikh Haruz area of Syria’s Afrin district, where Turkey has been carrying on a military operation against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) since Jan. 20.
“Almost all of the armored carriers [operating] in Afrin are domestically produced. I thank our friends who produced them,” Erdoğan said.
The Turkish president has repeatedly criticized certain foreign countries for allegedly being reluctant to sell unmanned aerial vehicles, armed or unarmed, stressing that unmanned systems could decrease casualties.
After the meeting of the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries’ (SSM) executive committee on Jan. 31, a Turkish Presidency statement said that “a total of 55 projects worth $9.4 billion were evaluated.”
The committee decided to add “further indigenous and national systems” to help the military in “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s Afrin.
President Erdoğan chaired the SSM executive committee meeting for the first time following a recent state of emergency decree law announcing that the SSM would be under the full control of the president, rather than the Defense Ministry. Prior to the decree, the committee was chaired by the prime minister.