Albania plans to buy Turkish combat drones

Albania has set aside a budget of $9.7 million for buying armed Turkish drones, the Turkish news channel TRT World reported on Friday.

The Albanian parliament approved that budget for the country’s Ministry of Defence to buy the drones, TRT said.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama was in Turkey in early June with cabinet members, including Interior Minister Bledi Cuci. Cuci visited Baykar Defence, the developer of many of Turkey’s drones, including the Bayraktar TB2, and said that his country is “evaluating the possibility of using Turkish UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles) for civilian and military purposes in Albania.”

Albania’s intent to buy Turkish drones follows the signing of an agreement in January to establish a “High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council”, TRT said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at the time that this raises Turkish-Albanian relations ‘to the level of strategic partnership”.

Albania’s planned purchase of Turkish drones also follows orders for Turkey’s increasingly popular drones from Qatar, Poland, and Ukraine.

Turkey has carved out a sizable export market for its homemade drones following their successful operational use in Syria, Libya, and the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
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