Egypt has agreed to purchase 10 Anka unmanned air vehicles made by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).

The Anka development was accelerated after Turkey cut all defence relations with Israel as a result of an Israeli navy confrontation with a "peace flotilla" that sailed from Turkey for the Gaza Strip in 2010.

Turkey's air force has purchased and still operates Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1s, but the nation's army recently announced its intention to cancel a further planned procurement of Aeronautics Defense Systems Aerostar tactical reconnaissance systems.

TAI says the developmental Anka can carry a payload of 250kg (550lb) for 24h. Maximum take-off weight is 1,500kg. The company earlier this year said it was in talks with the Turkish military over a planned 10-aircraft launch order, with deliveries expected to begin within two years of a contract signature.

 Anka UAV - TAI

Turkish Aerospace Industries

Israeli sources say the proposed new deal is intended to project the close ties between Turkey and the new regime in Egypt, and not just to meet the latter's operational needs.

Cairo is also reportedly trying to acquire General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator UAVs from the USA, but Washington has been hesitant to approve such a deal until the situation in post-Arab Spring Egypt becomes clearer.

Source: Flight International