Turkish drones, similar to those deployed against Russian soldiers in Ukraine, loop in the air at breakneck speed, drawing plaudits from the spectators at an air display in Azerbaijan.
Turkey is presenting its defense technology at the “Teknofest” aerospace and technology event, which began this week in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly prominent son-in-law Selcuk Bayraktar serves as chief technology officer of Baykar Defense, which manufactures the TB2 drones.

Bayraktar flew over Baku on Wednesday in an Azerbaijani air force Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter. The flight was joined by one of his combat drones, the “Akinci.”
On social media, a video of Bayraktar in command of the warplane, dressed in a pilot’s uniform with Turkish and Azerbaijani flag patches, went viral.
After the flight, Bayraktar told reporters, “This has been a childhood ambition of mine.”

Turkey’s drones first gained notoriety in 2019 when they were deployed to block a rebel commander, General Khalifa Haftar, from advancing against the government in Tripoli.

They were subsequently used again the following year, when Turkey helped Azerbaijan reclaim most of the territory it had lost to separatist Armenian forces in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijani attendees at the aviation fair applauded following a demonstration of the TB2 drones, which are now being used to fight invading Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party and Daesh are among the “threats” facing Turkey, according to a top official in the Turkish defense sector.
Ankara and its Western partners have designated the PKK as a terrorist organization.

However, because NATO partners, notably the United States, have imposed embargoes on Turkey, Ankara has been obliged to construct defense equipment on its own, according to the official. “With the war in Ukraine, the situation is shifting now,” the official stated.

After being thrown out of the F-35 fighter jet program due to its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, Turkey has been striving to modernize its air force.
However, Ankara’s efforts to broker a resolution to the Ukraine issue through direct talks may have aided its relations with Washington in recent months.

The administration of US President Joe Biden stated in April that supplying Turkey with F-16 fighter jets would now serve Washington’s strategic interests.
Turkish drones, such as the Bayraktar TB2, are “increasingly relevant to current conflicts because they have spread so far,” according to Michael Boyle of Rutgers University-Camden in the United States.


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