Isreal has delivered 4 Heron unmanned reconnasissance aircraft to Turkey. TR Defence sources reported on Saturday.
Turkish-Israeli relations were heavily damaged following Israel’s deadly raid to Turkey’s Mavi Marmara aid ship in international waters, claiming the lives of 9 Turks and 1 American on board. Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel and all military relations were frozen in response. Recently, relations further strained after an Israeli aircraft violated North Cyprus’ airspace, a protectorate of Turkey, reportedly in order to gain intelligence on the latest oil & gas drilling developments and to gauge Turkey’s response to a possible hot conflict over the island of Cyprus.
Behind closed doors, however, Israel has seemingly started to try and repair relations. Turkey had sent to Israel 5 Heron-type unmanned aerial vehicles for maintenance and upgrades. But Israel had thus far refused to return them to Turkey due to the restrained relations. Finally though, four of the five Turkish aircraft were delivered back to Turkey last week, reports indicated.
Condition and mission worthiness of the airplanes, though, is unknown and there still remains one more aircraft to be delievered.