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Israel sells attack drones to Turkey

Jerusalem Post
August 11, 2002


Israel and Turkey are continuing to strengthen strategic ties and are pursuing a number of defences projects. Turkish sources told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend that the Turkish military is expected to buy a total of 108 unmanned, combat air-vehicles, or UCAVs, from Israel.

The UCAVs are used to bomb military and technological targets.

"I can say that 54 UCAVs have been already delivered to Turkey. The next phase of the project is planned to end in two years," a key Turkish defense industry source said.

Defense sources said the project is separate from Turkey's primary UAV tender, in which the Israel Aircraft Industries and American General Atomic have been competing to sell Turkey nearly 90 UAVs designed to carry out reconnaissance missions.

The remaining 54 UCAVs are to be delivered in two years.

Each UCAV is capable of delivering a considerable amount of ordnance, including several types of bombs, all controlled by radio from the ground. The cost of the project is expected to reach $76 million.

Meanwhile, Elbit Systems has won a tender to provide Turkish Aerospace Industries with avionics system integration for Turkey's S-70 helicopter modernization program, in a $14 million deal.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced last week after a meeting with visiting Turkish Energy Minister Zeki Cakan that Israel will sign an agreement to buy 50 million cubic meters of water annually from Turkey over the next 20 years. Turkey reportedly put pressure on Israel to make the deal by warning it would reduce military trade.