Turkish unmanned plane breaks free from Israelis

Turkish unmanned plane breaks free from Israelis

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Turkish unmanned plane breaks free from Israelis

An unmanned aerial vehicle, designed by Turkish engineers failed to pass a flight test on Sept. 27. However, the producer company is confident on the future of the vehicle. DHA photo

Turkey’s political tensions with Israel, formerly a major defense partner, will not affect the development of the country’s domestic unmanned aerial vehicle, ANKA, as the country aims to produce a previously imported part, an official has said.

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the state-run developer of ANKA, has already initiated a study to replace an Israeli-made computer case used in the initial configuration of the plane, the company’s general manager, Muharrem Dörtkaşlı, told Anatolia news agency in an interview released yesterday. ANKA is to play a significant role in Turkey’s war against terrorism.

Not a vital component
When the deal for the piece was established with Israel, there had been no tensions between the two countries and Turkey was making use of Israel’s defense industry capabilities, Dörtkaşlı said, adding that the case in question was not a vital component.

The ties between the two countries have been tense since Israeli commandos killed eight Turks and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent on March 31, 2010 in a deadly attack on an aid ship bound for Gaza.

“The work here is the ready-to-use purchase of a non-crucial piece – part of a whole – developed by us in terms of engineering capability,” he said, adding that there was no need to be concerned about a project that the citizens “are proud of.”

“The brain and the heart of the work are handled by our engineers,” he said. TAI is in the process of authorizing the piece, which will be included in serial production, he also said.

The five newly configured ANKAs will be added to the Turkish military inventory in 12 to 30 months, with the duration depending on government demand, he said.

ANKA crashed due to a technical problem during its final tests on Sept. 27. This was normal, according to the general manager, who said that the official tests had been re-launched.

TAI is in talks with “friendly” and “neighboring” countries for the export of the plane, he said.