Israel, Turkey, Reach Drone Purchase Deal

24 Dec
10:27 AM

The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) reported Tuesday that it reached a deal with Israel to purchase 10 “Heron” drones TAI General Manager, Muharrem Dörtkaşl, said that the deal is expected to be announced in the coming few days.

The deal was signed with the Israeli Aerospace Industries and is part of a deal signed between the two countries in 2005.

Under the 2005 deal, Israel was to provide Turkey with unmanned drones with an estimated cost of $185 million.

Israel was to deliver 10 Heron drones in May 2008 but the delivery was 18 months late. Several months after receiving the drones, Turkey launched air strikes against the Kurdistan Workers Party.

But after the country sent the aircrafts to a specialized center to have engineers examine them, it was revealed that they did not comply with specifications mentioned in the tender.

They were returned to Israel on Nov. 30, 2009, and the Turkish Defense Minister, Vecdi Gönül, said that Israel has 50 days to fulfill the deal.

Last June, Gönül denied Israeli reports regarding voiding the deal after Israel delayed the transfer of the drones to his country.

The Turkish-Israeli relations were ‘stranded’, for a short period of time, due to tensions between the two countries over the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip earlier this year.

More than 1600 Palestinians were killed in the three-week offensive that was launched by Israel on December 28, and more than 6000 Palestinians were wounded.

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