Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) says it has suspended the delivery of aircraft engines to “countries with unclear usage” in the wake of reports that some of those engines are being used on Turkish combat drones deployed by Azerbaijan in fighting against Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh. BPR’s senior vice president and the company’s spokesperson, Martin Langelier told Radio Canada International in an email statement that the Quebec-based company — better known for its Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles — said it became aware late last week that some of the recreational aircraft engines produced by its Austrian subsidiary, Rotax, are being used on Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
All Rotax aircraft engines are designed and produced in Austria exclusively for civilian purposes and are certified for civilian use only. Canada suspended most exports of defence technology to Turkey in October of 2019 following the Turkish invasion of northwestern Syria. Exports of items on the country’s Export Control List require a permit only when exported from Canada. Controlled goods and technology exported from another country, however, are subject to the export controls of that country. The Rotax engines are used in various motorsports and drones could be used “for a multitude of solely civilian purposes. The European Union Control List of Dual Use Items does not list the drone engine in question as a dual use good item.
The Bayraktar TB2 is a Turkish medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations. It is manufactured by Turkey′s Baykar company primarily for the Turkish Air Force (TAF). The aircraft is monitored and controlled by an aircrew in the Ground Control Station, including weapons employment. Bayraktar means “ensign” in Turkish. The development of the UAV has been largely credited to Selçuk Bayraktar, a former MIT student. The aircraft relies heavily on imported and regulated components and technologies, such as the engines (manufactured by Rotax in Austria), missile rack (UK) and optoelectronics (FLIR sensors imported from Wescam in Canada or Hensoldt from Germany), some of which have been targeted by sanctions in response to Turkey’s belligerence abroad.
The integration of the Indigenous munition “Roketsan MAM-L and MAM-C” and the capacity to successfully fulfill Intelligence, persistent aerial Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, has made the system an indispensable platform in operations. The Armed UAV Bayraktar TB2 is a multi-purpose platform as it can perform Target Acquisition using the onboard laser designator. It is also capable of eliminating the target using its payload consisting of four smart munitions. Bayraktar TB2 is a system that offers all cutting-edge solutions required to carry out surgical-precision strikes preventing the widespread damage to close areas. These features ensure civilian security as a first-order priority.