What Really Necessitates Turkey to Develop its own Drones and New Long Range Air Defense System: What seems to have changed?

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The changing character of military warfare is affecting Ankara’s overall plans for military procurement. Turkey in this regard continues to pay particular attention to the armed forces requirements in two main areas: meeting the needs required to wage war in cooperation with its strategic allies in NATO and being at the face of the new security challenges posed by asymmetrical warfare like terrorism. Therefore, Ankara is also attempting to adapt its military resources according to this newly arising insecure environment. Although Turkey currently maintains a vast conscripted army of over one million men, due to the radically changed conditions of military warfare since the end of Cold War, it has become an obligation for Turkey to introduce new military reforms. These military reforms, some of which have been implemented or are still under way, aim to reduce the size of the army by 20-30 per cent and Ankara intends to simultaneously raise the level of professionalism, training and technological capabilities.  


Examining Turkey’s achievements, one can now convincingly see various successes both in the making of civilian aviation and military air armaments. Turkey, as a result of its arm industry initiatives, is currently trying to be competitive in the areas of aircraft, UAVs, air-defense weaponry and other military mechanisms to be launched from ground forces. 


In today’s non-traditional warfare environment, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and information management are certainly accepted as the keys to military success. Therefore, it is natural that the Turkish defense force is currently pushing the Turkish arms industry in the direction of the independent production of high-tech weapons so as to meet the emerging asymmetrical threats. Mastering these technologies will allow Turkey both to expand its export market, which can in turn help finance arms production for Turkey’s internal needs, and also to enable Turkey to remain a regional power into the future. What is most important is that this capability is expected to provide Turkey with the much needed flexibility required in the times when it feels that its national security is threatened and will allow Ankara to act independently outside its borders, though of course in line with its existing rights from the international law.


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