Turkey was able to circumvent a US export ban on killer drones with the help of a missile component first developed in the UK, allowing Ankara to become an emerging power in the lethal technology, which experts warn is dangerously proliferating.
The vital assistance from a factory in Brighton has helped Turkey on its way to become the second biggest user of armed drones in the world – one of a number of countries emulating methods first used by the US in its “war on terror”.
Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones were heavily used in Ankara’s three operations to date against Kurdish-led forces in Syria, responsible for the killing of 449 individuals in one of them, amounting to a fifth of the officially declared fatalities.
They have also been used to kill what Turkey’s defence ministry said were “five PKK terrorists” across the border in Iraq this month, imitating the extraterritorial strikes pioneered by the US in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
But while the armed Bayraktar TB2 drones are manufactured by a Turkish company, they could not have been developed without the Hornet missile rack, which was devised and supplied by EDO MBM Technology, located on the outskirts of Brighton, somewhere around 2015.
Read more: The Guardian