By Goksel Yildirim and Mustafa Calkaya
Turkish unmanned aircraft producer Baykar Makina signed an agreement on Wednesday to export six armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to Qatar's armed forces.
Under the agreement, six Bayraktar TB2 armed UAV Platforms, three ground control station systems and equipment, and a UAV training simulator will be delivered within a year.
Baykar will also set up a UAV operation center and network-based data tracing and archiving software for Qatar's Armed Forces.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX 2018), which lasts through Wednesday.
The TB2 armed UAVs, which will be exported for the first time, have been used by the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkey's Security Directorate since 2015.
The signing ceremony was attended by the commanders of Qatar's Armed Forces, Turkey's Defense Industries Undersecretariat officials, and Haluk Bayraktar, Baykar’s CEO.
After delivering the UAVs, Baykar is set to train Qatar armed forces personnel and provide logistical and technical support.
"Qatar officials looked at technologies from the U.S., Europe, and China before they decided," Bayraktar told Anadolu Agency.
He added that exporting cutting-edge aviation technology is an important step for Turkey.
Day and night use
The Bayraktar TB2 was developed for tactical reconnaissance and surveillance missions and it can also carry ammo, do assaults, and has laser target acquisition. With its sensors, it can operate at both day and night.
Also at DIMDEX 2018, Turkish armored vehicle producer Nurol Makina signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Qatar's Special Forces to supply its NMS 4X4 armored car.
Turkey's Piri Reis University (maritime school) also signed an agreement to establish an academy for Qatar's navy.
Turkish defense and technology firms signed several agreements during the exhibit.
More than 30 Turkish companies are taking part in this year’s DIMDEX exhibit, which showcases state-of-the-art military technologies, including armored vehicles, aerial drones, and high-speed gunboats.
*Gokhan Ergocun contributed to this story from Ankara