Turkey's main aerospace manufacturer on Saturday announced it had signed an agreement with a Pakistani institution to produce components for a long-endurance drone developed by Ankara.
The Anka is considered as a 'medium-altitude, long-endurance' drone, which can stay airborne for up to 24 hours or longer and can carry out surveillance and attack missions. The Anka is capable of carrying up to 200kg of sensors or weapons like lightweight air-to-surface missiles.
Turkish Aerospace (TUSAS) signed the agreement with Pakistan's National Engineering and Science Commission (NESCOM) on the sidelines of the recent International Defense Industry Fair, held in Istanbul.
Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency media outlet reported the agreement aims to "expand the potential market for UAVs and to increase cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey; TAI and NESCOM will be jointly responsible for employment, resource and technology transfer".
Temel Kotil, an executive of TUSAS, was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying, "This way, our UAVs will be strengthened. It is very important that we continue our historical brotherhood for the gains of both countries. We will implement the human resources cooperation we have made in the past years in this contract as well. In addition, we will develop production and especially technological developments together."
Interestingly, Turkey had a contract with another Pakistani company to produce parts for the Anka. In 2013, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra handed over the first batch of parts for the Anka.
In 2018, Pakistani media outlet, Quwa, which reports on defence matters, reported that the Pakistan Navy was negotiating to buy a variant of the Anka.
The first export order of the Anka drone was confirmed in 2020, with Tunisia revealed to be the buyer.
Turkish drones have been making headlines for their performance in the conflicts in Syria and Libya and last year's war between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
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This has helped raise interest in the systems in other countries. Speaking to AFP in March, Serdar Demir, an executive of TUSAS, noted, "What makes the Anka special is that most of the parts, important and critical parts, are produced and designed in Turkey... We can easily say that the Anka is the most indigenous product and that we do not depend on other countries' permits." US allies such as Poland and Ukraine have recently purchased drones from Turkey, while Saudi Arabia, has also, reportedly, expressed interest in such systems.