US technology company Garmin has issued a statement saying the company products used on Turkish-built Bayraktar armed unmanned aerial systems were purely commercial and not even intended for use on drones.
The company statement comes after reports emerged that Garmin technology had been found on a Bayraktar UAS that was downed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“It has been brought to Garmin’s attention that one of our products has been incorporated into drones that are being used in Bayraktar UAVs to kill innocent civilians in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). We condemn this violence in the strongest terms, and we are heartbroken for the loved ones of those who have been killed,” Garmin said in a release.
The company emphasized that the product used in these drones was a commercial, non-military product that is widely available for purchase.
“It is not designed or intended for military use, and it is not even designed or intended for use in drones,” the statement reads.
Garmin said it would investigate how its products ended up in these drones, adding that it would take appropriate action to guard against its equipment being used again in this manner.
Earlier this year, Canada suspended exports of military unmanned systems technology to Turkey amid reports that the equipment had been used in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Tensions between the two sides escalated earlier this year, which has seen the most intense hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in four years. The conflict in the region, which is recognized as part of Azerbaijan but de-facto controlled by the breakaway Republic of Artsakh, has been ongoing since 1988.