Albania signs deal to buy armed drones from Turkey
Albania has bought three Turkish-made Bayraktar drones that will be ready for action if the country's national security is threatened, but will be used in the meantime to help police, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Tuesday, as Turkish drones continue to gain popularity globally after being used by Ukraine's military to thwart Russian forces.
"They will be ready for every occasion," Rama said during a signing ceremony with representatives of Turkish defense company Baykar in Albania’s capital Tirana, adding that he hoped the drones would never have to be used in a war.
He did not say when they would be delivered and whether Albania would seek to buy more of them.
Rama said the drones, which will be armed and ready for combat, will help authorities in a number of areas, including monitoring the Balkan country's territory, locating cannabis plantations and tracking wildfires.
Albania, which became a NATO member in 2009, has no warplanes.
Baykar said Albania has become the 27th country that the company exported drones in a post on Twitter, along with a hashtag #nationaltechnologymove.
During the ceremony, Baykar’s CEO Haluk Bayraktar expressed his wish that this technology will start a new era between the two countries.
"These technologies proved to be really important assets in the inventory. They can be used not only in wartime but also in peacetime. Here we will establish a service center that will serve Albania and neighboring countries," he said.