The state of Israel avoids selling armed drones. The significance is that Israeli defense companies do not compete for armed drone deals, even though Israel is considered a leader in the field of drones as well as in the field of munitions for drones. However, the two are not sold together due to a decision by the Defense Ministry. A decision that has been in effect for many years.
Well, this decision may cost the state of Israel a portion of the Azeri arms market. Baku is a main customer of Israeli weapons. The conflicts over the years with Armenia regarding Nagorno-Karabakh have revealed a variety of Israeli weapons being used. However, the latest conflict that ended not long ago revealed a different truth – attack drones manufactured by Turkey have taken center stage. The Turkish industry, using Bayraktar TB2 drones, started to capture a growing portion of this market.
Syria, Libya, Iraq and now Azerbaijan. The Turkish economy is desperate for foreign currency, and the Turkish Defense Ministry does not loathe any customer or conflict. For Baku, the Turkish flexibility in exporting attack drones fits like a glove, and in the latest conflict TB2 drones were the main factor in the defeat of the Armenians, and required Russia to intervene to stop the fighting. The Azeris openly claimed that attack drones changed the equation. A variety of videos posted online during the fighting proved the capabilities of the drones.
While the Turkish defense industry is thrilled by the results of the conflict that are expected to contribute to their global drone sales, the companies in Israel can only keep their mouths shut. Recently, reports about British interest in these drones started to appear online. Even if the reports are not accurate, they signal a trend in favor of Turkey. Militaries from around the world observe the capabilities of the Turkish drones in Nagorno Karabakh, how they contribute to the conduct of the war, and the interest starts.
Yes, Turkey paid a price in terms of logistics. The Canadian government, which is responsible for authorizing exports of the engines of the drones, temporarily suspended sales to Turkey due to suspicions of non-humanitarian use of the drones in Nagorno Karabakh. However, it is not yet clear how long the ban will continue, if at all, and how much it actually influences Turkey's ability to manufacture the drones.
Israel, although it did not sell the Azeris armed drones (only suicide ones), also lost. The conflict in Nagorno Karabakh opened a weapon sales channel between Ankara and Baku. Now, the size of the Turkish portion of the Azeri defense budget is only a question of Turkey's price, offer and determination. The Turks, like Israel, have a very developed military industry. Including drones, armored vehicles, ground-to-ground missiles, rockets, munitions and more. It is possible to argue about the quality of the products, but in reality, the Turks were there when the Azeris needed them. The Israelis were there less.