Analysis: the use of drones by Turkey in Libya is a game-changing

Referring to Turkey’s recent use of locally-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in Syria and Libya, along with electronic warfare systems, British Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace said: “Even if half the claims are true, the implications are game-changing”, Daily Sabah reports.
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Bayraktar TB2 attack drone (Picture source: SSB)

Ben Wallace on July 15 was giving a speech at the Air and Space Power Conference, during which he highlighted the future of defense technologies, air and space power being the forefront, in an age of ever-changing and rapidly improving technologies in a constant competitive environment. The Defense Secretary stressed the urgency and importance of working with regards to the air and space environment of the future, how it might be even in 2050, highlighting the evaluating of the use of such technologies by other exemplary countries, Daily Sabah reports.

“We need to look at the lessons of others. Look at how Turkey has been operating in Libya where it has used UAVs since mid-2019,” Wallace said, noting that those UAVs “have conducted intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and targeting operations against frontlines, supply lines and logistics bases. In July last year, they struck the Libyan National Army controlled Jufrah airfield, destroying several command and control nodes as well as two transport aircraft,” he exemplified.

Turkey has shown significant gains in using UAV capacities in the field, especially with the circulating footage from Syria and Libya in which Bashar Assad regime tanks, Russian-made air defense systems and Libyan marshall Khalifa Haftar’s military equipment were destroyed by Turkish drone-led operations. “Or consider Turkey’s involvement in Syria and its use of electronic warfare, lightly armed drones and smart ammunition to stop tanks, armored cars and air defense systems in their tracks,” Wallace further said.

Most recently in February 2020, prompted by an Assad regime attack that killed 34 Turkish soldiers and injured dozens of others in Syria, just across from Turkey's southern border, domestic drones, namely the Baykar Makina’s Bayraktar TB2 and Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc.'s (TAI) Anka-S, ended up causing significant damage to Assad regime elements, hitting everything from tanks and air defense systems to howitzers as well as military bases and chemical warfare depots, Daily Sabah recalls. According to reports, the Assad regime suffered heavy losses “3,000 soldiers, 151 tanks, eight helicopters, three drones, three fighter jets vehicles and trucks, eight aerial defense systems and one headquarters among other military equipment and facilities,” Ben Wallace also stressed.

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Anka-S attack drone (Picture source: Army Recognition)