Tuesday, September 27, 2022

24 Countries From Europe & Asia Request For Turkish Bayraktar TB2 Drones; Baykar Launches New Drone Prototype

Baykar, a Turkish defense company specializing in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), has received procurement requests for Bayraktar TB2 combat drones from 24 countries, including European and East Asian nations, the technical director of the firm said on August 31.

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“To date, Bayraktar TB2 has received requests from 24 countries. Orders and export contracts have been signed. This number is increasing every day. Some of them are from East Asia, some are from Europe, so there is demand in various parts of the world,” Selcuk Bayraktar was quoted as saying by the Turkish news agency Aksam.

The technical director for Baykar also mentioned that the Akinci combat UAVs were in high demand. According to Bayraktar, the firm has agreements for its purchase with four nations. The company has not revealed the names of the buyers purchasing these drones.

Oleksii Reznikov, the defense minister for Ukraine, stated in late June that Kyiv and Ankara were still working on a plan to build a factory in Ukraine to manufacture Bayraktar armed drones.

Akıncı unmanned armed aerial vehicle (Wikimedia Commons)

Baykar’s drones, particularly its acclaimed Bayraktar TB2 drones, have played a vital role in Ukraine, having been deployed early in the fight to eliminate large numbers of Russian tanks. These drones were so successful that Ukrainians composed folk songs around them, which they saw as a sign of resistance. 

The demand for drones has risen to the point where there is a three-year waitlist, according to an earlier statement by the Turkish drone manufacturer. 

The firm views Ukraine as a “strategic partner.” It even turned down $20 million in crowdfunded funds and donated three Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine. In a statement on Twitter, the company requested that the funds be transferred to the “struggling people of Ukraine.” 

The Bayraktar TB2 recently completed 500,000 flight hours, establishing a new record in Turkish aviation history, reported Daily Sabah. The drone entered the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) inventory in 2014.

The company, in a statement, also said that the drone is the longest-serving national aircraft in the skies.

These drones are now not making as much news as they did during the early stages of the conflict due to Russia’s improved electronic warfare capabilities. But there’s no denying that they successfully attracted many overseas customers by performing astoundingly well in the war.

The Turkish drone firm recently revealed that Akinci, Turkey’s cutting-edge unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), had completed a test flight with all weapon stations equipped. Baykar is currently pushing its next-generation drone Akinci as the TB2’s successor. 

In May 2022, the Akinci Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flew from northwestern Turkey to Azerbaijan, which is said to be one of the first countries to get this advanced military drone.

Bayraktar Tb2 Drone
File Image: Bayraktar Tb2 Drone

Turkey Introduces New Combat Drone

Baykar unveiled its latest drone on August 30 at Teknofest Karadeniz, the country’s largest technological festival, reported Turkish news agency Anadolu. 

The Kizilelma prototype was first unveiled on Twitter by Selcuk Bayraktar before being presented at the event. He stated that the engineers had finished the prototype and were getting it ready for takeoff.

According to earlier reports, Kizilelma will have Ukrainian engines. Baykar Makina placed orders with the state-owned firm Ivchenko-Progress for AI-322F and AI-25TLT jet engines in 2021.

Kizilelma (red apple) will take to the skies for the first time early next year, according to Elif Ergin, a pilot trainer with the company. 

She stated that the prototype was completed in May 2021, adding that the mechanical and avionic integration process is still ongoing.

According to Ergin, the drone boasts aggressive mobility, a flight time of five hours, and an operational altitude of 35,000 feet. She described the drone as “state-of-the-art,” saying it can land and take off from ships with small runways such as Turkey’s flagship-to-be landing helicopter dock (LHD) type vessel Anadolu.

According to the official, it has a takeoff weight of six tons and a useful load carrying capacity of 1.5 tons. Baykar intends to integrate it with all domestically made munitions and ammunition in the air force inventory.

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