Turkey and Israel Drone Deal on Track

20 January 2010 (Last Updated January 20th, 2010 18:30)

Turkey's $185m project to acquire ten drone aircraft from Israel for the Turkish Air Force is finally on track, after a long delay. The country is expecting to take delivery of the systems within the first six months of 2010, if six of the drone aircraft pass further tests. Tu

Turkey's $185m project to acquire ten drone aircraft from Israel for the Turkish Air Force is finally on track, after a long delay.

The country is expecting to take delivery of the systems within the first six months of 2010, if six of the drone aircraft pass further tests.

Turkish experts will conduct the tests on the drones in the south-eastern province of Batman.

Launched in 2005, the project became delayed and was under threat of cancellation due to rising tensions between the two countries following Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip in 2009, according to defensenews.com.

The project, including the construction of surveillance equipment and ground control stations, was expected to be complete in mid 2009, but was delayed due to technical problems.

The delay forced Turkey to threaten to cancel the tender and announce a deadline of early 2010 for contractors Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit.