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AA 04/03/20: Turkish drones 'battle tested,' export ready: report

'Turkey’s decision to send a mass coordinated UAV attack points to its availability of options,' expert tells website.

The capabilities of Turkey's drone fleet have been "proven in combat" following a series of strikes carried out in Syria against regime targets, according to a report published Wednesday.

"Turkey joins the United States, United Kingdom, France, Israel, China and Iran as drone-armed nations," said the report on the c4isrnet defense technology website.

It differentiates between the swarm attacks from autonomous drone systems working in tandem and the "coordinated mass of drone strikes March 1 against a Syrian military convoy and base," saying "even such a labor-intensive operation as the mass use of remotely piloted drones offers advantages over flying human-occupied vehicles on the same missions."

“Given a very complicated battleground in Syria — where Syrian and Russian air defenses protect key assets, and where Iranian forces operate alongside their Assad allies — Turkey’s decision to send a mass coordinated UAV attack points to its availability of options,” Samuel Bendett, an adviser at the Center for Naval Analyses, told the website.

"Rather than send a piloted aircraft that could be lost, with the pilot killed, Turkey sent unmanned systems, whose loss is less profound and does not ultimately impact Turkish military capability. Turkey is also able to gather key intel on Syrian air defenses, especially those that managed to down Turkish UAVs,” he added.

At least seven Turkish drones were targeted by Syrian air defense systems, but the drones were reportedly still able to strike their targets.

"A swarm the recent strike was not, but for the people targeted on the ground, a remotely piloted salvo is just as deadly a proposition," the report adds.

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