Turkey’s Defense Minister Fikri Işık has commented on Austria’s arms embargo by saying that it will lead to more ‘serious’ motivations in developing national weapons locally.
“The U.S. imposed a much more severe embargo on Turkey in 1975 and it sparked the birth of the Turkish defense industry,” Minister Işık said to Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper on Friday.
“Turkey would not be affected if Austria’s decision is put to practice,” he added.
Turkish security forces have been using handguns and assault rifles produced in Austria, Glock and Steyr being the only imported Austrian arms brands. The handguns by Glock were used by some law enforcement officers.
“The major impact, however, will be on Turkey’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programs. The Bayraktar TB2 UAVs are equipped with engines manufactured by Austrian company Rotax, a leading manufacturer of UAV and target drone engines in the world. The army and security forces have standing orders for additional Bayraktar engines. So, a new source should be found quickly,” he said.
Turkey has been reportedly using the Bayraktar, a locally produced drone armed with guided missiles.