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Ukraine and Turkey together for a more active military role in the Black Sea.

16 Oct, 2020
Ukraine and Turkey together for a more active military role in the Black Sea.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits Turkey to meet with the Turkish President Erdogan and sign an agreement for a deeper military cooperation.

According to a statement by the Ukrainian government, Zelenskiy will sign a bilateral military cooperation agreement during his visit. This agreement aims to have a big impact on security and peace in the Black Sea region.

Defense relations between the two countries have developed rapidly, with military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey's defense industries carrying various mutual benefits.

In early July, Ukraine’s National Defense Minister Andriy Taran voiced an interest in Turkish-made drones, at a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar in Kyiv.

Ukraine already purchased the combat drones Bayraktar Tactical Block 2 (TB2) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Turkey last year. The agreement signed between the two countries allowed the purchase of a total of 12 UAVs. Along with the combat drones, which have been tested last March, Turkey will also provide 3 ground control station systems and various equipment. The agreement was signed between the Ukrspetsproject Company, which is part of Ukraine’s Ukrboronprom, and Turkish manufacturer Baykar Makina, the Country's leading drone developer.

Today, Ukraine wants to purchase another 50 Bayraktar TB2 combat drones and plans to set up a large-scale assembly line for the unmanned aircraft.

We have agreed on setting up of a large-scale assembly line for these drones in Ukraine. Currently, we are choosing a place for the production of the drones.

Vadym Nozdr, CEO of Ukrainian State-owned Ukrspetsexport

The official said that, after establishing a drone-production plant, Ukraine will begin exporting these drones to foreign markets (except those where Turkey is selling its production).

Military technological transfer

From the other side, Turkey is interested in technology transfer on missile engine technology with Ukraine, which could turn into a longer-term business deal involving aircraft production.

Turkey wants to develop an indigenous engine technology for various aerial platforms it has developed and plans to develop in the future. Technology transfer is a key to doing business with Ankara.

Ozgur Eksi, defense expert with Istanbul-based media outlet C4Defence

Ukrainian engine-maker SE Ivchenko-Progress is producing the AI-35 engine to power Turkey’s new indigenous Gezgin missile. Analysts have described the Gezgin as similar to the American-made Tomahawk. The Gezgin program was designed to develop conventional, long-range strike capabilities for naval platforms. This new missile is thought to have a range of approximately 1,000 kilometers. SE Ivchenko-Progress, a subsidiary of Ukraine’s Ukroboronprom defense giant, designs and manufactures engines that power 66 types of aircraft in more than 100 countries.

Geopolitical scenario of Turkey-Ukraine relationship

The technology transfer is the engagement ring of wider alliance between Turkey and Ukraine on foreign affairs issues. Recently, the president Zelensky officially supported Turkish diplomacy in the conflict between Armenia (backed by Russia) and Azerbaijan for the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, backing Azeri claims.

We support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty just as Azerbaijan always supports our territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Ukrainian President Zelensky

This diplomatic and military alliance alliance is a need for Ukraine, to defend the Country from the Russian aggression. But it is also an opportunity for Turkey to strengthen its ambitious policy of influence in the East (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Turkmenistan) and in the Mediterranean (Cyprus, Israel, Libya, Syria), where Erdogan regularly steps on Putin's toes.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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