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Turkish drones to be produced in Ukraine: officials

08.08.2022 20:00
Turkish defence contractor Baykar is set to open a factory in Ukraine to produce its Bayraktar combat drones, officials have said. 
A Bayraktar TB2 combat drone.
A Bayraktar TB2 combat drone.PAP/Abaca/Muhammed Enes Yildirim

The plan was announced by Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Last week, the government in Kyiv greenlighted a Ukrainian-Turkish agreement to build the Bayraktar factory, and sent it to parliament for approval, Bodnar told the RBK-Ukraine website.

He said Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles “play a crucial role” in the war against Russia and have become “a legendary symbol of our resistance.”

Bodnar said the aims of the project were “practical as much as political” as many components for the Bayraktar drones, including “engines, wheels and other spare parts” will be made in Ukraine, the PAP news agency reported.

Bayraktars for Ukraine

In June, Baykar decided to donate three Bayraktars to Ukraine after the Ukrainian public raised money for the drones in a crowdfunding campaign.

In May, a social media fundraiser for a Bayraktar drone for Ukraine was held in Lithuania. It collected EUR 6 million in just three days.

Baykar said it would not accept the money and instead supplied the drone to Lithuania for free. The machine reached Ukraine’s frontlines on July 8, according to news outlets.

Poland collects EUR 4.8 mln

Last month, a similar crowdfunding effort took place in Poland. Led by columnist Sławomir Sierakowski, Poles collected PLN 22.5 million (EUR 4.8 million) for a Bayraktar drone to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.

Sierakowski later announced that, under an agreement with Baykar and the Ukrainian authorities, the Turkish company would donate the Bayraktar to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the money collected would be provided to Poland’s southeastern neighbour as part of humanitarian assistance.   

The 6.5-metre-long Bayraktar TB2 is an unmanned combat aerial vehicle that can be used for reconnaissance or bombing, among other uses, according to military experts.

Monday is day 166 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, meduza.io