The axis of evil – Common exercise between Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan-Pakistan displays its Turkey supplied Bayraktar-TB2s during Air Force exercise

Andreas Mountzouroulias

Turkey said Friday it has carried out a joint military exercise with five countries in the capital Ankara.

Azerbaijan, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan participated in the military drill called Eternal Fraternity-I United Special Forces Military Exercise, the National Defense Ministry said in a statement.

“The most distinguished troops of friendly and fraternal countries are together!” the statement read.

For the first time since their acquisition, Pakistan displayed its Bayraktar TB2s. This happened on September 28th during a Pakistan Air Force exercise. The Pakistan Air Force exercise was intended to showcase Pakistan’s air defence capabilities.

At this time, neither Pakistan nor Turkey has disclosed how many of the unmanned Turkish flagships have been delivered to Islamabad. Pakistan also did not disclose how many of those delivered achieved operational combat capability. It is known that in the middle of this year Islamabad had purchased the Turkish drones. Satellite images of PAF Base Murid showed at least one Bayraktar TB2.

The September 28 exercise was the first officially documented use of Pakistan’s Bayraktar TB2s. Zahir Ahmed Baber Sidhu of the Pakistan Army was in charge of the exercise. He visited the ground control station for controlling the Turkish drones. The senior Pakistani officer said that the role of drones today is extremely important. According to him, Bayraktar TB2 “has the leading role as force multipliers”.

Pakistani sources said the exercise was conducted to assess the compatibility of the unmanned aerial vehicles with the Pakistan Air Force and their integration “into the operational structure of the PAF”.

Bayraktar In The Last Two Years

Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 drone has made a name for itself in the defence industry over the past two years. The main reason for this was the successful opposition to Russian weapon systems in several conflicts – Libya, Syria, and now in Ukraine.

Bayraktar TB2 is becoming one of the most popular combat drones in international markets. Already 16 countries operate this drone, two countries are in the process of concluding a contract, and 16 countries are in the process of considering whether to purchase the Bayraktar TB2 at some stage. Among them are countries such as Great Britain, Finland, the Baltic states, and half of the Balkans, including Romania and Bulgaria.

PAF Is Improving Its Combat Capability

With the Bayraktar TB2 in its inventory, the Pakistan Air Force is gradually beginning to emerge from the crisis that the Air Force had fallen into after its setback against India after the IAF airstrikes deep into its territory. Good news was recently arrived from Washington, which has guaranteed support for Pakistan’s F-16 Fighting Falcons. Pakistan is also making the Chinese JF-17 fighter, which is currently under its Block-III version.

Last but not least, Pakistan though practically bankrupt, and facing severe economic downturn is reported to be involved in Turkey’s TF-X fifth-generation fighter program. The news was officially announced in February this year by Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Aerospace Industries [TUSAS], and Rizwan Riaz, Vice Marshal of the Pakistan Air Force [PAF].

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