Lack of staff grounds UAVs

Özgür EkşiANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

The PKK’s recent attack in Dağlıca has indicated a critical lack of personnel to keep Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) on duty.

Speaking to the Hurriyet Daily News on condition of anonymity, a defense source stated that Turkey currently had 10 Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class Heron UAVs, bought from Israel. “Eight out of ten UAVs are being used actively in the region. A maximum of three and usually two of them may fly in a routine mission,” the source explained, adding that they were at the limit of operating UAVs “as the personnel are already exhausted with routine missions.”

The source stated that UAVs fly at night, as terrorists are only found on the mountains at night. “No one is in action during the day on the mountains … Planes have the ability to fly for long time, but this does not mean they fly day and night. It means they can continue to fly if they catch important information.”