ATHENS – As Greece has been building a traditional arsenal – fighter jets and warships – against fears of a conflict with Turkey, there’s been a turn toward trying to find a defense against Turkey’s deadly drones that can take out tanks and military sites.
The drones are being used by a number of governments – including Ukraine, which has used them with devastating results against Russian invaders and swung the balance of war with Armenia in Azerbaijan’s favor.
Greece’s New Democracy government has made purchases of French-made Rafale fighter jets and French and American warships but is scrambling to create a drone industry and find a shield against Turkey’s drones, said Kathimerini.
Turkish F-16 fighter jets regularly violate Greek airspace with NATO – the defense alliance to which both countries belong – looking the other way, but high-flying fast drones that can maneuver better than a jet are another problem.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stressed that the country’s armed forces are present everywhere “with our unmanned aerial vehicles,” apparently believing Greece has no counter for them.
In response, the Greek Defense Ministry is seeking to shield the Aegean Sea from the encroachment posed by drones with countermeasures deployed on the islands but it wasn’t said what they were.
Many Armed Forces are looking for layers of defenses, including jamming, that can be used against drones, either armed or on surveillance missions to provide intelligence for possible attacks and identify an enemy’s positions and capability.
The site PartyandMilitary noted back in 2019 that there are other methods that can be used against drones, including the blunt force of using objects to knock them out of the sky, including nets with parachutes to pull them down, and signal hijacking, directional radio frequency interference, lasers, and other drones.
According to Turkey’s Industry Minister Mustafa Varank, its armed forces have at least 200 drones, which technically are called Unmanned Aerieal Vehicles (UAV’s) and could make tanks obsolete, able to take them out.
Selcuk Bayraktar, Director of Turkey’s drone manufacturer, the Baykar company – also Erdogan’s son-in-law and an MIT trained whiz who put the program together – presented the Kizil Elma (Red Apple), model of the new drone that Turkey is making, expected to make its first flight in March 2023.
The most important unmanned fighter, and perhaps the most successful, is considered to be the Bayraktar TB2, at least 300 being produced, the paper said, with Turkey’ military having some 180 of them.
They are used for targeted strikes against tanks and armored fighting vehicles to kill instantly from the sky and have an impressive record of success, with Ukraine using them to its advantage.
The Bayraktar Akinci is the company’s second unmanned aircraft, which has the capability to carry both ground-to-air and air-to-air weapon systems and presents another formidable weapon for a military.
The Turkish Aerospace Industry (TUSAS) is also involved in the production of drones such as the Anka, of which about 40 are estimated to have been delivered, with another eight pending for Tunisia and another three to Kazakhstan and is building another called the Aksungur, the report said.