Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Monday, April 13, 2009

Turkey requested Obama's help in procuring Predator drone

ANKARA — Turkey has submitted a request to the United States for an advanced unmanned aerial vehicle, in a move that may have sought capitalize on improved diplomatic relations.   

Turkish sources said the Ankara government has asked the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama for the MQ-1 Predator, manufactured by General Atomics.

The sources said the Turkish military and Defense Ministry concluded that Predator, employed by the U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan, would provide intelligence on Kurdish insurgency strongholds in northern Iraq.

"Predator is capable of filling in the gaps of our air reconnaissance," a Turkish source said.

Also In This Edition

The sources said the Defense Ministry relayed the formal request for two U.S. UAV systems in December 2008. They said the request was for the Predator as well as the MQ-9 Reaper, also by General Atomics.

The request has been reviewed by the U.S. State Department and Defense Department and relayed to Congress. The sources said a reply was expected by July 2009.

The sources said the UAV request was raised by Turkish leaders during the Obama visit to Turkey on April 6-7. They said administration officials pledged to accelerate the review process.

"Turkey is a critical ally," Obama said during his visit.

Turkey has failed in efforts to produce a tactical UAV for reconnaissance missions. Instead, the Turkish military has been deploying a range of Israeli-origin UAVs, including the Heron medium-altitude, long-endurance system by Israel Aerospace Industries.

The sources said Ankara has requested that the Reaper be sold with air-to-ground rockets. But they said Congress, which contains several key pro-Greek members, was likely to refuse to sell any armed UAV to Turkey.


Turkey hasn't failed to produce a reconnaissance UAV. In fact the UAV that Turkey is developing now will be operational by 2010, next year. Also, the Turkish Military wants the armed version MQ-9 Reaper as well.

Johnson      4:45 p.m. / Monday, April 13, 2009

About Us     l    Contact Us     l     l
Copyright © 2009    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.