Turkey May Try to Build an Unmanned Tank

    Zachary Keck

    Security, Middle East

    And that would be a really big deal. 

    Turkey may try to build an unmanned tank.

    That’s according to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Speaking at a meeting at the presidential palace on February 21, Erdoğan declared: “We will carry it a step further [after domestically produced unmanned aerial vehicles] . . . We should reach the ability to produce unmanned tanks as well. We will do it.” Erdoğan’s comments came weeks after five Turkish soldiers were killed in a tank while fighting in Syria’s Afrin district. Ankara has deployed military forces in Syria to battle Kurds in the neighboring country.

    Turkey has long invested in building its own homegrown unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). At the Dubai Airshow in November of last year, Ankara unveiled its new Karayel UAV built by the local firm Vestel Defence Industry. Defense News reported at the time: “With a 13-meter wingspan and an endurance of eight hours when fully armed with a 120-kilogram payload, the Karayel-SU is the latest in a family of UAVs built by Vestel for the Turkish Armed Forces and the export market.” Those drones can be equipped with antitank weapons like the MAM-L and the laser-guided MAM-C, both also built by local firms. Thet Karayel can also serve as a surveillance drone.

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