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Ukraine signs agreement to procure Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced on social media on Saturday, January 12, that a deal has been signed to purchase Turkish Bayraktar Tactical Block 2 unmanned aerial vehicles for the Ukrainian military.

“As we have agreed with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an agreement was signed on the purchase of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones for the Ukrainian army,” Poroshenko said on Twitter. “We continue to rearm the Ukrainian army with modern samples that meet NATO’s standards!”

The deal has been sealed between the Ukrainian state company Ukrspetsexport (part of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom”) and the Turkish company Baykar Makina.

Baykar Makina describes Bayraktar drones as medium-altitude long-endurance class systems developed for tactical reconnaissance and surveillance missions. They can carry a maximum payload of more than 55 kilograms (about 121 pounds), fly at up to 22,500 feet and loiter for more than 24 hours.

The deal to procure the drones was agreed on during Poroshenko’s visit to Turkey on November 3-4.

“Negotiations on the purchase of these UAVs lasted for about two years. Over this time, representatives of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry visited Turkey and familiarized themselves with various stages of the Bayraktar TB2 tests,” the Ukrainian Military Portal said at the time.

Poroshenko said in a Facebook post on Saturday that the Turkish drones can be equipped with modern high-precision missiles to destroy armored vehicles, engineering and fortified facilities, and be used for marine purposes.

The Ukrainian president added that the agreement between the Turkish and the Ukrainian companies “is part of the measures to expand the military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey.”

“But it fully corresponds to the strategic course of Ukraine towards the [NATO] Alliance – its standards and the open world market of armament, which successfully integrates the Ukrainian defense industrial complex,” he said.

Baykar Makina will produce six UAVs and deliver them to Ukraine in a year, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency. Three ground control station systems and other equipment will be delivered as well.

Advisor to the President of Ukraine Yuri Biryukov said in a Facebook post that the deliveries will start “soon.” He underscored that Ukraine is buying drones as complete systems, with weapons, and that there are plans to produce them in Ukraine too.

“These are six gliders, these are hundreds of missiles, these are control stations, this is personnel training and … this is the preparation of joint production of part of the complexes in Ukraine,” he said.

According to some estimates, the deal is worth $69 million.

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