ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey and Poland have signed a deal for the sale of Turkish-made combat drones, making Poland the first NATO and European Union member country to purchase Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.
The agreement was signed during Polish President Andrzej Duda’s three-day visit to Turkey.
Under the deal, Poland is set to receive 24 armed drones, ground control stations and data terminals, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported. The first drone is expected to be delivered next year.
“We are one of the best countries regarding unmanned aerial vehicles,” Erdogan said during a joint news conference. “We feel great pleasure in sharing our experience, capability and potential with our NATO ally, Poland.”
Erdogan said: “With the document that was just signed, Turkey will, for the first time in its history, be exporting UAVs to a country that is a member of NATO and the EU.”
Turkey previously sold drones to Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Qatar.
The Bayraktar TB2 drones played a prominent role in Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenia during the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh last year. Turkey is known to have used the drones in its cross-border operations against Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq.