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Turkey banks on military drones to extend power, regional clout

The “dronization” of Turkey’s power projection abroad continues with a new unmanned aerial vehicle that Ankara plans to use against PKK militants in Iraq and Syria as well as in brewing regional conflicts.

Turkey is gearing up to start production of a new high-altitude, long-endurance drone, hoping to extend its military reach in the region and compensate, even if fractionally, for the loss of the F-35 new-generation jets after a row with Washington.

Baykar Makina — a company owned by the family of Selcuk Bayraktar, the young son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — announced Aug. 14 that the second prototype of the high-altitude, long-endurance variant of the Akinci drone, whose name means “raider” in Turkish, had successfully completed test flights and was ready for production.

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