Ukraine set to purchase Turkish-made armed UAVs

Ukraine has signed a deal to purchase Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles two years after negotiations first began between Ankara and Kiev on the UAVs, Ukrainian national news agency Ukrinform reported on Sunday.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleh Hladkovsky and Head of the Ukroboronprom State Concern Pavlo Bukin have signed an agreement with Turkey for the purchase of the medium altitude and long-range (MALE) tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system manufactured by the Turkish Company Baykar Makina, the site said.

An agreement was signed during the visit of the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to Turkey at the beginning of November, the agency noted.

Selçuk Bayraktar, the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is the technical director of Baykar Makina, which is family-run business that sells TB2 UAV drones to the Turkish military.

The first flight of the Bayraktar TB2, which can be armed with long-range anti-tank missile under the wings,was performed in June 2009, and production began in December 2011 following a contract with the Turkish army.