Turkish drone maker’s deal with Saudi Arabia opens door to new defense exports


Türkiye has entered into new agreements following the largest defense and aerospace export contract in the country’s history signed by Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) producer Baykar with Saudi Arabia.

The export success achieved by the Turkish defense industry’s indigenous UAVs brings new opportunities.

Baykar recently signed an export and cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense for the unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) Bayraktar Akinci. The deal was recorded as the largest defense and aerospace export contract in the history of the Republic of Türkiye.

According to information obtained by Anadolu, following the contract, a signing ceremony for a UAV Manufacturing Indigenization Agreement was held in Riyadh and hosted by the Saudi Defense Ministry.

During the ceremony, Turkish defense firms Baykar, Aselsan and Roketsan signed new agreements with Saudi companies.

Baykar signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) for local production and technology transfer, while Aselsan and Roketsan signed MoUs with the Saudi National Company for Mechanical Systems.

The agreements were signed by Baykar’s CEO Haluk Bayraktar, Aselsan’s CEO Ahmet Akyol and Roketsan’s General Manager Murat Ikinci at a ceremony attended by Haluk Gorgun, president of the Turkish Defense Industry Agency.

In his speech at the ceremony, Bayraktar said they were together to celebrate an exciting moment and to witness a new chapter that strengthens cooperation between the two countries.

Emphasizing that countries that implement new technologies not only gain advantages but also build stronger ties with their allies, he said: “We have shared and will continue to share innovative technologies, including Bayraktar Akinci.”

“The development of a high-tech platform such as Bayraktar Akinci is undoubtedly invaluable.”

He added that Bayraktar Akinci is not an ordinary weapon or aircraft but a flying smart robot equipped with dozens of computers, tens of thousands of lines of code and artificial intelligence.

Committing on behalf of Baykar to cooperate in the most effective way for the smooth implementation of the project and the provision of after-sales services, Bayraktar said they are also coordinating the necessary steps with Saudi institutions, regulators and the local industry.

Noting that this project is not only a business opportunity for Baykar but also a pillar of promising opportunities in line with the country’s interests, Bayraktar said they are ready for the continuation of the project.

“Baykar is aware of the magnitude of the project and is mobilizing all its capabilities to ensure a success story that heralds many years of strategic cooperation,” said he said, adding they aim to ensure that Saudi end-users are familiar with the Bayraktar Akinci concept and that the entire Bayraktar fleet is used effectively, with more capabilities to be transferred.

*Writing by Gokhan Ergocun from Istanbul