In June 2020, Azerbaijan announced it had purchased Bayraktar TB2 combat drones from Turkey. A few months later, during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, the Turkish UAVs were used. They were responsible for the destruction of military and civilian infrastructures, places of worship and residential areas in Karabakh, killing civilians in the process.

The Bayraktar TB2 drones are produced by the company Baykar, whose technical director is Selçuk Bayraktar, son-in-law of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Baykar relies heavily on components and technology imported from NATO states, including France.

The French company Beringer Aero, a wheels and brakes maker, exported sealed fuel reservoirs to Baykar, which were used for the TB2 drones. However, during the war, when the issue of people dying because of these UAVs was raised, the company decided to stop exporting its products to the Turkish company.

In a press release published on its Facebook page, it said:

BERINGER AERO suspends all deliveries to Turkish UAV manufacturers after having found out about its products mounted on drones equipped with weapons and deployed over the Nagorno-Karabakh region to fight against the Armenian forces. The company wants to stay in line with its ethical policy and has never allowed the use of its products on vehicles that could threaten human life.”

Another French company, ASB Aerospatiale Group, is still exporting its products, rocket batteries, to Baykar.

Two German companies, Hengst and S.M.S Smart Microwave Sensors GmbH, are also exporting products that were found on Turkish armed drones. The Bayraktar TB2 drones are produced by the company Baykar, whose technical director is Selçuk Bayraktar, son-in-law of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Baykar relies heavily on components and technology imported from NATO states, including Germany.

S.M.S Smart Microwave Sensors GmbH develop radar technology used for traffic management and the automotive industry. The company sells radar altimeters to Baykar. Those systems are a radionavigation equipment that help the aircraft function.

Hengst sells filter systems for the automotive industry. The company sells fuel filters to Baykar.

The German Ministry of Defense did not give a statement about the matter, as according to a spokesperson of the Ministry, they are “not in charge of questions due to arms export or arms control within the German government.”

A source in the German Federal Foreign Office issued Hetq the following statement:

The German government has given itself particularly strict rules when it comes to exporting military equipment. Hence, decisions on whether export licences are granted are made on a case-by-case basis following careful assessment, which is taking into account foreign and security-policy considerations and particularly the human rights situation in the given country. Germany does not approve the export of military equipment if there is sufficient evidence that it is misused for internal repression or systemic human rights violations. In this particular case of the two companies you are mentioning, the German Foreign Office does not possess any information that goes beyond the media reports on that issue.”

The OSCE (Organization for security and cooperation in Europe), which had requested an arms embargo in 1992 for all forces engaged in combat in Nagorno-Karabakh, still in effect, declined our interview request. Hetq has also contacted several German news organization and colleagues, as well as German political parties but all inquiries have remained unanswered.

In 2019, Germany had banned its weapons exports to Turkey, to prevent their use in operations against Kurds in Syria. That same year saw the highest level of German arms exports to Turkey since 2005, worth more than 250 million euros. In December 2020, Germany opposed an arms embargo against Ankara, requested by Greece, to pressure Turkey concerning its actions in the Mediterranean waters boarding Cyprus.

Source: Hetq; and Hetq

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf https://www.uasvision.com/2021/04/13/french-and-german-companies-export-products-for-turkish-armed-drones-used-in-nagorno-karabakh-war/, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache. Für die Inhalte ist der UAV DACH e.V. nicht verantwortlich.