The United States requested Poland buy armed drones from Turkey, Duvar news site reportedon Sunday, citing a parliamentary deputy with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
AKP deputy Vedat Demiröz remarked in a parliamentary session that he heard from a “source” that Washington had urged Poland to go ahead with the purchase, according to Duvar.
“We are making a UAV sale to a European country, and they’re the ones who made the request. In fact, I heard from a source that it was U.S. officials who told Poland to buy drones from Turkey,” Demiröz said.
Poland first announced that it would be acquiring 24 Bayraktar TB2 type armed unmanned aerial vehicles from Turkey on May 22. The drones purchased will include anti-tank missiles on top of a training and logistics package.
On May 24, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda signed a contract to purchase the drones at a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who expressed his “delight” at the sale.
Poland has become the first buyer of its combat-tested platform to a fellow NATO member state. Turkey’s TB-2 drones have distinguished themselves in the eyes of prospective customers for their success on the battlefield. Qatar, Libya and Ukraine are all currently operators of the TB-2 and others, including Pakistan and Kazakhstan, have shown interest in the system.