The Ukrainian Navy has received its first Bayraktar TB2 drone from Turkish defense manufacturer Baykar, the Ukraine Ministry of Defense reported recently.
In a post published on the president’s official Twitter account, final acceptance tests were conducted on the drone then prepared for deployment with the Ukrainian Navy’s 10th Naval Aviation Brigade in Mykolaiv.
In 2019, Ukraine signed a deal with the Turkish government to purchase Bayraktar Tactical Block 2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Turkey for use by the country’s armed forces. The deal was worth $69 million and included the delivery of TB2 combat UAVs to Ukraine and ammunition for the armed drones.
Як ми і домовлялися з Президентом Туреччини Реджепом Таїпом Ердоганом, підписано угоду про закупівлю для українського війська ударних турецьких дронів Bayraktar TB2.
— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) January 12, 2019
Switch to Unmanned Technologies
The Bayraktar TB2 drone acquisition is part of Ukrainian efforts to bolster its naval power. In a statement earlier this year, navy commander Oleksiy Neizhpapa called the drone purchase a “step forward” for the country’s defense.
“The Navy, like other types [and] branches of the Armed Forces, like the entire civilized world, is switching to unmanned technologies,” he said.
“This is a step forward. This year, the Navy will receive the first set of the Bayraktar unmanned complex, which will be used both in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov by surface forces and the marines. In the future, we plan to purchase unmanned countermine systems for the Navy, which are very optimal in terms of price and efficiency of use.”
The Bayraktar TB2 is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capable of conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and armed attack missions. It has a communication range of up to 300km (186.41 mi), a wingspan of 12m (39.3 ft), and operating hours of up to 27 hours.