Turkish drone-maker Baykar's export deal with Saudi Arabia makes headlines in US media

Turkish drone-maker Baykar's export deal with Saudi Arabia makes headlines in US media

US-based defense magazine evaluates significance of Baykar's export deal with Saudi Arabia

By Tolga Yanik

ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkish drone maker Baykar's defense agreements have made headlines in the US media.

Baykar signed the largest export agreement in defense and aviation in the history of Türkiye with Saudi Arabia last week.

Following this agreement, the company signed a cooperation agreement with the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) for the production of Bayraktar Akinci drones in Saudi Arabia.

The US-based major defense magazine Breaking Defense evaluated the significance of the contract signed by Baykar with Saudi Arabia.

In his statement to Breaking Defense, Haluk Bayraktar, Baykar's general manager, stated that Baykar has progressed like an icebreaker and paved the way for Turkish defense industry companies.

Baykar's cooperating partners Aselsan and Roketsan have also made agreements with Saudi Arabia, he recalled.

Thanks to these deals, hundreds of Turkish defense firms manufacture subsystems are expanding their export portfolios with new collaborations, he said.

Baykar will also share its experience, based on years of research and development studies, with Saudi Arabia and contribute to Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 project, which aims to localize technology development and production, Bayraktar said.

There were major competitors for both the export contract and the cooperation agreement, Bayraktar said, adding that despite having competitors from China and the US, Bayraktar Akinci was the winner.

Refuting rumors about a possible merger or takeover of Baykar, he said there will be no change in the company structure and business approach.

Experts, whose opinions were quoted in Breaking Defense's article, stated that the agreements signed by Baykar will create a long-term relationship between the defense industries of Türkiye and Saudi Arabia, and that this will increase Türkiye's cooperation with other Gulf countries in the defense industry.

The experts also said the alliance with the Saudi Arabian defense industry will improve Baykar's production speed and capacity, which are important to meet the growing demand for Turkish unmanned aerial solutions.

* Writing by Gokhan Ergocun​​​​​​​

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