Turkey to sell warships, drones to Ukraine - report

Turkey is selling four locally made stealth corvettes to Ukraine as part of an agreement for bilateral defence cooperation, website Defense News reported on Monday, citing industry sources.

Turkey’s state-controlled Defence Technologies Engineering (STM) will also transfer technology to Ukraine for the co-production of Turkish armed drones, as part of a deal that is potentially worth €1 billion Defense News said. The production of the ships will potentially happen in both countries, similar to a previous Turkish contract with Pakistan.

STM’s Ada Class Corvette, developed as part of Turkey’s national warship programme MILGEM, uses several American-made parts, which will have to be replaced with locally made components due to recently imposed U.S. sanctions, which include a ban on all export licences and authorisations for the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), Turkey’s military procurement agency.

The SSB and its president, İsmail Demir, were sanctioned over Turkey’s acquisition of Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems, which the United States maintains could compromise NATO’s defence network.

Turkey and Ukraine have been growing closer in recent months. Kyiv officials visited Ankara for two days of meetings for further military cooperation. Ukraine had purchased several combat drones from Turkish defence company Baykar, owned by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s in-laws, and later expressed interest in purchasing up to 48 more.

In October, the two Black Sea neighbours signed a military cooperation deal during a separate visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Ankara.