From where does Ethiopia procure its drones?
Incidents of recent years and continuous threats against the federal government and continuation of war made Ethiopia to buy different weapons including Israeli, Iranian, etc. drones.
The first drone unit of Ethiopian Army was created in 2011 with help of Israel. In this contract Ethiopia bought two types of drones from Israeli Aerostar corporation. These were mainly for training and surveillance and could not carry any weapons. In the following years due to tensions in Tigray region in north of Ethiopia, the federal government felt the necessity to perform raids with higher accuracy against Tigray guerrillas, which made the government to buy different equipment from other countries including Iranian and Chinese drones.
In this regard, the published images of Iranian Mohajer-6 drones in Ethiopia shows that Iranian drones were procured by the Ethiopian government.
It is said that small unarmed Chinese commercial drones were also bought by police and Army. In another report it was stated that China sold an unknown number of Wing Loong drones to Ethiopian Army. Another reports indicates that China’s Ministry of Public Security trained Ethiopian soldiers in an aerial school in Beijing in 2018. These claims have not been rejected nor confirmed by either sides, however local sources spotted Wing Loong drones over Tigray region several times.
In recent months there was a report on negotiation between Ethiopia and Turkey to buy Bayraktar drones. This news was enough for intensify the dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia and Turkey. Therefore, Egypt asked U.S. and Europe to increase pressure on Turkey to cancel the Bayraktar drones contract but this request has been ignored by the United States and Europe.
Ethiopian Army’s preference to buy different drones from Iran and China to Turkey and Israeli Regime shows the important of this weapon in the security and military wars of modern time.