Exports of armed unmanned aerial vehicles are extended to Turkey with new clients Morocco and Ethiopia as pointed out by four sources who know details of the deals.
Any sale unmanned aerial vehicles in Ethiopia is of course possible to cause friction in the already tense relations between Ankara and Cairo, which is in dispute with Addis Ababa over a hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile.
Two sources from the Egyptian security forces said that Cairo has asked the United States and some European countries to help freeze any deal. A third Egyptian source said The issue of concluding any agreement should be raised and clarified in talks between Cairo and Ankara.
Turkey, Ethiopia and Morocco have not officially announced any agreement on armed drones, but several sources familiar with the agreements gave details to Reuters.
“They asked to buy Bayraktar TB2 drones,” says an official
A Turkish official said both Ethiopia and Morocco had asked to buy Bayraktar TB2 drones with deals that could also include spare parts and training guarantees.
A diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in a separate statement that Morocco had received the first batch of unmanned aerial vehicles it had ordered in May. Ethiopia plans to acquire them, but it is less clear where this order is located, said the same diplomat.
Sources did not say how many drones were involved in the deals nor at the same time as broadcast by the Athenian News Agency did they give financial details.
Reuters notes that Ukraine and Poland, Turkey’s NATO ally, have also ordered armed drones, which military experts say are cheaper than competitors made in Israel, China and the United States.
Official figures show that Turkey’s defense and air exports to Morocco and Ethiopia have risen sharply in the past two months, but provide no details on drone sales.
The Armed Forces and the Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia have not responded to requests for comment on this issue.
The Moroccan government was not immediately available for comment. Its armed forces do not publicly discuss the purchases they make.
The leading Turkish agency, which deals with defense procurement and the development of military systems, did not immediately respond to a written request for comment. Bayraktar, the company that makes the drones, also did not respond to a request for comment.