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Saudi Arabia procures Turkish drones

Photo: Baykar

Saudi Arabia has entered into an agreement with Turkish company Baykar to purchase Turkish drones, with the accord encompassing collaboration in technology transfer and joint production.

Turkish defense company Baykar and the Saudi defense ministry held a signing ceremony attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as reported by the Saudi state news agency (SPA).

Saudi Arabia will acquire the drones “with the aim of enhancing the readiness of the kingdom’s armed forces and bolstering its defense and manufacturing capabilities,” tweeted Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman on Tuesday.

While the Saudi state news agency SPA did not disclose specific details regarding the deal’s value, Baykar CEO Haluk Bayraktar stated that it stands as Turkey’s most substantial defense and aviation export contract to date.

In a separate statement, Baykar highlighted that the agreement with Riyadh involves collaboration in technology transfer and joint production, aiming to enhance the technological development capabilities of both countries.

Since its inception in 2003, Baykar has revealed that a significant portion, 75% of its revenues, has been derived from exports, primarily driven by its drone research and development activities. In the previous year, the company reported exports totaling $1.18 billion, contributing to an overall turnover of $1.4 billion.

Baykar also finalized a contract with Kuwait last week, sealing a deal valued at $367 million for the procurement of Bayraktar TB2 drones. Kuwait’s MoD stated that the drones were tested in Kuwait in July 2019, noting that they flew without pause for 27 hours and 3 minutes amid difficult climatic conditions.