UAVs Industry in Iraq, Myth or Reality?
The Iraqi “Military Industry Authority” has recently unveiled the manufacture of an Iraqi UAV named “Saqar 1”. This came after an official statement by the head of the Military Industry Authority. You can see the pictures of the drone below with “Made in Iraq” posters behind it in Figure 1.
The UAV, which is allegedly manufactured by Iraqi hands, is nothing but a commercial drone from a Chinese company called Digital Eagle, and the name of this drone is YFT-CZ33, whose suspected that the production line has been transferred to Iraq. You can find the functionalities of the drone in Figure 2 below:
The fun fact is that anyone can purchase this drone through the Alibaba website at a price not exceeding $35,000, and its price may reach only $25,000 if more than 10 pieces are ordered at one time as shown below in Figure 3. This is a low price compared to internationally used drones, as drones such as the Turkish TB2 drone cost $2M.
Proceeding with the use of this type of UAVs poses a great danger to national security since this type of Unmanned Arial Vehicles does not hide its secret from the enemy, because it is publicly available in the market, and anyone who reads this article can buy and study it.
However, in general, VTOL UAVs can not resist Iraqi airspace and it is not practical for military use in Iraq. Also, Digital Eagle company provides its microcontrollers for sale publicly, which makes these drones unsecure to be used nationwide.
In addition, the biggest farce is the naming of the drone. Even the name of the drone, which is the “Saqar 1”, is basically the name of a Saudi drone that was launched in 2017. This indicates that there are no serious efforts even in choosing the names of the products. At least, It would have been better to find a name that does not match the names of other international products.
I am not here against the state’s use of drones or their manufacture, but it is shameful to lie to people and deceive them with poor quality products that lead to suspicions of corruption.
Answering the question posed in the title, the answer is yes. UAVs are manufactured in Iraq, but for terrorist purposes. You can find more details in one of my recent articles.