ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Turkish defense industry officials reported the testing of the country's first domestically produced armed aerial vehicle, the Bayraktar TB2.
During the flight test, the Bayraktar was able to engage targets from a range of almost five miles. The aircraft, the country's first armed drone, was armed missiles produced for the ATAK T-129 helicopter, making Turkey the fifth country to arm a UAV according to Daily Sabah.
The Bayraktar was produced as a joint-venture between two Turkish developers, Bakar and Kale Kalip. The ammunition armed to the aircraft was developed by state-owned missile manufacturer Rokestan. Company officials say the effort supports their intention to progress the program's production levels.
"There is an understanding between the industry and the govenrment that Turkey should gradually gear up to earn armed drone capabilities," a procurement source told Defense News.
The Turkish military currently has no contract with the developers to procure the aircraft. However, officials say their work may win a contract in the future, allowing the country to produce armed drones domestically.
"We may either sign a modification contract to arm the drones currently in our inventory or sign a separate contract to acquire armed drones in the future," the procurement official added.