ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish defense company says it successfully developed the country's first indigenous automatic takeoff and landing, or ATOL, system for drones.

The privately owned firm Meteksan Savunma said the system, dubbed OKIS (the Turkish acronym for ATOL), aims to replace imported ATOL systems currently used in Turkish-made drones.

The radar-based, portable OKIS system features two main components: a transponder and antenna on the platform; and a ground radar system designed to ensure safe takeoff and landing.

Serkan Cak, director for the OKIS program, said that Meteksan Savunma plans to sell the system initially to the Turkish military. "We believe the system also has export potential," he said.

Turkey has in recent years designed, developed and produced a number of drone systems, which the country primarily uses in its fight against Kurdish insurgents operating inside Turkey and in northern Iraq and northern Syria, as well as against Islamic State group strongholds in Syria. 

Ankara has been encouraging domestic industry to design and develop subsystems for drones, which it views as an important asset in its asymmetrical warfare concept. 

Founded in 2006, the Ankara-based Meteksan Savunma specializes in the production of communications systems, platform simulators, sensor systems and underwater acoustic systems. It also produces subsystems for surface and underwater platforms, drones, helicopters, and missile systems.

Burak Ege Bekdil was the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.

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