October 24, 2020 - 11:33 AMT
Bombardier suspends exports of Austria-made drone engines to Turkey

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) says it has suspended the delivery of aircraft engines, which are produced in Austria, to "countries with unclear usage", CBC reports. The decision came after the company found out that their engines are powering Turkish combat drones, which are deployed by Azerbaijan in fighting against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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).

Canada has suspended exports of defence technology to Turkey. However, 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 are subject to the export controls of that country, said Michel Cimpaye, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada.

"We have recently been made aware that some Rotax engines are currently used in military UAVs, and have started a thorough investigation immediately," Martin Langelier, BPR's senior vice president and the company's spokesperson, told Radio Canada International in an email statement.

"In the meantime, we are suspending delivery of aircraft engines in countries with unclear usage."

The Armenian Defense Ministry has unveiled photos of three Bayraktar drones downed in Karabakh. The Ministry said the Armenian side has destroyed more than a dozen of the Turkish drones but most of them have crashed in Azerbaijani territory.

Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey and Syrian and Libyan mercenaries deployed by Ankara, started a war against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. Foreign and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages.