Malaysia and Indonesia have expressed a keen interest in buying armed drones from Turkish defense firm Baykar, which has supplied the weapons to several countries after battlefield successes, Türkiye’s top diplomat said
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also expressed hopes his country would be able to sell the unmanned combat aerial vehicles to Japan.
“Many Asian countries, especially Malaysia and Indonesia, show great interest in our defense industry products. Agreements are being signed,” Çavuşoğlu told a press conference in Tokyo.
Türkiye sees big potential in deepening defense ties with Japan, the minister said, on a visit there to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“If Japan wants to buy any defense industry products from Türkiye, including armed drones, it will be our pleasure to meet the demand,” said Çavuşoğlu and added that delegations from both sides would meet in the coming days to discuss potential cooperation in defense and security.
International demand for Baykar’s drones soared after their impact in conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Libya. The battlefield successes of the company’s Bayraktar TB2 combat drones have helped it spearhead Türkiye’s lucrative military exports drive.
Çavuşoğlu said that Turkish-made armed and unarmed drones were among the best in the world. “It was Turkish armed drones that prevented the invasion of Tripoli in Libya,” he was cited as saying by Nikkei Asia.
Baykar’s only other production facilities outside Türkiye are being built in Ukraine, where Bayraktar TB2s helped undermine Russia’s overwhelming military superiority in the weeks following Moscow’s February invasion.
CEO Haluk Bayraktar, who runs the company with his brother Selçuk who is the chief technology officer (CTO), said last month Baykar had signed export contracts for the TB2 with 22 countries.
The company was last week reported as having most recently delivered 20 armed drones to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this month.
A report by Nikkei Asia suggested there were other signs that Japan is following the developments of Turkish drones closely.
Citing Turkish defense industry sources, it said a mock-up Turkish “kamikaze” drone called Kargu-2 appeared in a closed exhibition held by the Japanese Military Intelligence School at Camp Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture, with the request coming from the Japanese side.