Turkey’s profile as a regional player has grown in recent months. Turkey’s military drone industry is now the world’s fourth-largest in the world, and its relatively affordable hardware helped Azerbaijan win its war with Armenia in late 2020.
It also turned the tide in Libya, proving pivotal in pushing back the forces of Khalifa Haftar from Tripoli. According to a report commissioned by the UN, a military drone attacked soldiers in Libya’s civil war using artificial intelligence, rather than a human pilot. The drone, believed to be a Turkish Kargu-2 model, was part of advanced military technology introduced by Turkey that ultimately proved a “decisive element” in helping the government defeat of the forces of Khalifa Haftar.
Turkish defence technology company Baykar has sold its Bayraktar TB2 armed drone to Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Qatar and Libya. Erdogan said in March that Saudi Arabia was also interested in buying Turkish drones.