ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish military plans to use cargo drones to run its logistical operations, part of a wider effort to incorporate unmanned systems into its inventory.

Turkish Aerospace Industries developed the cargo drones, which are expected to support units in combat zones in and outside Turkey, such as northern Iraq and northern Syria.

“Our Vertical Landing and Take-off Cargo UAV project will quickly and safely meet the logistical support our Turkish Armed Forces needs in mountainous terrain,” TAI said in a Nov. 7 statement.

In June 2018, Turkey’s procurement authority, the Presidency of Defense Industries (or SSB for short), launched a program to procure cargo drones with vertical landing and takeoff capabilities. TAI won the contract.

Turkey’s top procurement official, SSB President Ismail Demir, said that the UAVs will go into serial production in 2021.

“Thanks to the cargo UAV systems, the requirements such as weapons, ammunition, medical equipment, [and] equipment required by the security forces on the battlefield will be delivered in a very short time and safely even in difficult weather conditions,” Demir said Nov. 7.

The drone can reportedly carry 50 kilograms and is meant to provide logistic support for troops in combat zones, especially mountainous areas.

Turkish companies, including TAI, are currently in the midst of manufacturing a large variety of drones, including armed aircraft.

Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.

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