Ukraine considering buying Turkey’s Bayraktar drones - Turkish media

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry is planning to purchase Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from Turkish company Baykar Makina, pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah reported on Tuesday.

The purchase of 48 drones is a large order, considering that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has 107 drones in its inventory. This could mean that some of the production of the drones will be localised in Ukraine.

The purchase will include 12 Bayraktar TB2 complexes (control stations) and 3-4 UAVs for each complex. 

Vadym Nozdri, the CEO of Ukrspetsexport, the Ukrainian military’s import/export body, told Ukrainian defence news site Defence Express that “Baykar Makina is ready to invest in Ukraine and develop joint projects.”

Nozdri went on to say that if some of the production is localised to Ukraine, “the cost of each complex... will decrease by 35%. Including taking into account imported components, which Turkey itself buys”. 

The deal comes as military and diplomatic cooperation between Turkey and Ukraine has been increasing. Last year, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed an agreement to purchase 12 Bayraktar drones from Turkey. 

Baykar Makina produces the Bayraktar Tactical Block 2 (TB2) UAV, and largely supplies the Turkish army. The company’s Chief Technology Officer, Selçuk Bayraktar, is married to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s daughter, Sümeyye.

Poroshenko said the deal was “part of the measures to expand the military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey.”

Turkey’s drone technology also relies on imports from other countries such as Canada. In June, Canada approved the sale of drone optics technology to Turkey, despite an arms embargo Canada imposed in 2019 following Turkey’s military incursion into Syria.

But Canada last month suspended export licenses for drone technology to Turkey, pending an investigation into whether the technology was being used by Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In response, Ankara criticised Canada for “double standards”, saying that the country was continuing to sell arms to states involved in the conflict in Yemen, such as Saudi Arabia, despite criticism from the U.N.