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Turkish delight in Saudi drone deal

20th July 2023 - 16:30 GMT | by Harry Lye in London

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Baykar's Akinci UAV. (Photo: Baykar)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has signed a deal to purchase Akinci UAVs from Turkey’s Baykar in a significant boon for Ankara.

The Akinci UAVs will be used by the Saudi Air Force and Navy under a comprehensive agreement that will feature some joint production.

In a tweet, Saudi Defence Minister Khalid bin Salman said the new drones would enhance the readiness of the Kingdom's armed forces and bolster its defence and manufacturing capabilities.

The Akinci is a HALE UCAV manufactured by Baykar. Sometimes known as Uçan Balık, the UAV can be fitted with a range of ISR or strike payloads. 

It adheres to NATO standards for munition integration, allowing any customer to fit its own domestically produced strike payloads.

The drone

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Harry Lye

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Harry Lye


Harry Lye was Senior Naval Reporter at Shephard Media.

Harry joined the company in 2021, …

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