Turkey shows off its military muscles with drone display at Istanbul’s Teknofest
Teknofest, which Turkey claims to be the world’s largest tech festival, takes place in Istanbul from September 21-26. And with it, an opportunity for the Turkish army to showcase its new gem: drones. Jowharcorrespondents in Istanbul, Shona Bhattacharyya and Ludovic de Foucaud report.
It was a perfect day for a field trip, and the air show lit the hearts of young people with Turkish national pride, including children who showed their nationalism.
With free transportation and admission, it would not be surprising if this year’s edition reached two million attendees at Teknofest 2019. Despite organizers claiming that the festival showcases mostly civilian technology, combat aircraft receive the increased attention, especially the drones developed by the Bayraktar brothers.
After successful campaigns in Libya and Azerbaijan, the TB2 drone has become the standard-bearer of the Turkish defense industry. The newest model, the Akinci drone, has a twin engine, has a wingspan of 20 meters and weighs six tons when take off.
Almost as popular as the drone is the couple who made it: Seljuk Bayraktar, President Erdogan’s son-in-law, and his brother Haluk. His company brought the Akinci drone from prototype to finished product in just two years, a feat.
“Turkey made the decision 20 years ago that Turkey will support its own companies,” says Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of Baykar. “So these drones will be native, so Turkey supported its own companies and startups. We were an emerging company 20 years ago, seven people ”.
Turkey is betting that smaller local players will allow for greater versatility and lead its armed forces to full self-sufficiency, creating a deadly fleet that can be bought for a price … and making its defense industry a force to have. consider.
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