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Chairman of Turkey’s drone maker visits US aircraft carrier at ambassador’s invitation

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Selçuk Bayraktar, chairman of Turkish defense contractor Baykar, visited the USS Gerald R. Ford, the US Navy’s largest aircraft carrier, at the invitation of US Ambassador to Turkey Jeffry Flake, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Bayraktar, who is also the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, visited the ship along with Turkish commanders and naval officers during a joint exercise with Turkey’s first multi-purpose amphibious assault ship, the TCG Anadolu, in the Mediterranean Sea, Baykar Tech said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Bayraktar also talked about his visit to the USS Gerald R. Ford on Friday and offered his thanks to the US officials for welcoming them.

The Turkish and US air forces are also conducting joint training flights as part of the exercise.

Drones developed by Baykar have been exported to 24 countries and have been used in conflicts in Azerbaijan, Libya and Ukraine.

The company signed a deal with Saudi Arabia following a visit by Erdoğan last month to buy drones. The deal was described as “the biggest defense and aviation export contract in the history of the Turkish Republic,” by Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of the company and Selçuk Bayraktar’s brother.

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