Saudi Arabia and Turkey Strengthen Defense Cooperation with Baykar Drone Deal

Turkish company “Baykar” announced the signing of an agreement to purchase “Bayraktar” drones, but this agreement goes beyond mere supply, as it includes other essential aspects.

Under this comprehensive agreement, there will be cooperation in technology transfer, and it also involves joint production of the drones, contributing to the development of their industrial and defense capabilities.

This significant step comes after the signing of two agreements between Saudi Arabia and “Baykar,” in the presence of Dr. Khaled Al-Biyari, Assistant Minister of Defense for Executive Affairs from the Saudi side, and the CEO of “Baykar” Technology, Mr. Latifi Kholuq Bayrakdar, from the Turkish side.

The signing of these agreements took place during the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Saudi Arabia, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, aiming to strengthen bilateral relations and strategic cooperation between the two countries.

Baykar is globally renowned in the field of drone manufacturing and development, being one of the leading developers and manufacturers of drones worldwide. Exports make up 75% of its revenues, and its exports amounted to $1.18 billion last year.

The company has successfully signed export agreements with 30 countries for its “Bayraktar TB2” combat drones and with six countries for the larger “Bayraktar Akıncı” combat drones.

This new agreement aims to support defense capabilities and develop military industries in both Saudi Arabia and Turkey, fostering security and stability in the region, and advancing military technology and defense capabilities.

“Bayraktar Akıncı” Specifications

“Bayraktar Akıncı” is a Turkish-made, locally developed unmanned aerial vehicle designed and developed by Baykar. It is a multi-purpose drone with a long range and capable of carrying weapons.

It was first introduced in 2019 and entered service with the Turkish Armed Forces in 2021. It has been exported to several countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, and Malaysia.

Akıncı is a large drone, with a length of 12 meters and a wingspan of 17 meters. It is powered by two turbine engines and weighs around 4.5 tons. It can carry up to 1.5 tons of weapons, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and cruise missiles.

It has a range of 4,000 kilometers and can stay airborne for up to 24 hours. It is equipped with a wide range of sensors, including an AESA radar, EO/IR cameras, satellite communication systems, advanced electronic support measures, and artificial intelligence capabilities, among others.

Akıncı is a versatile drone, capable of performing a variety of tasks, including reconnaissance, surveillance, and attack missions. It has already been used in various conflicts, including the 2020 war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

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