Turkey Donates Three Bayraktars to Ukraine Amidst Reports of Several Such Drones Shot Down by Russia

  • Our Bureau
  • 09:45 AM, June 28, 2022
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Turkey Donates Three Bayraktars to Ukraine Amidst Reports of Several Such Drones Shot Down by Russia

Turkey’s Baykar said it will gift three Bayraktar TB2 combat drones to Ukraine, even as Russia claims it shot down tens of such drones in the ongoing war.

Ukraine had bought more than 20 Bayraktar TB2s from Turkish company Baykar in recent years and ordered a further 16 on January 27. That batch was delivered in early March.

Baykar stated it took the decision to donate the UAVs after it was informed about the Ukrainian people’s Bayraktar fundraising initiative which aimed to raise UAH 500 million ($15 million) within a week. They reportedly managed to reach UAH 600 million ($20.3 million), enough to buy 4 Bayraktar TB2s, in three days.

“Business leaders and ordinary people alike contributed funds – small and large – to reach this milestone within a matter of a few days’ time. Baykar will not accept payment for the TB2s and will send 3 UAVs free of charge to the Ukrainian war front. Instead, we ask that raised funds be remitted instead to struggling the people of Ukraine. We are touched by this solidarity and resolve in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges,” Baykar said in an official statement June 27.

In May, hundreds of Lithuanians pooled in money to buy Bayraktar TB2 for Kyiv. Baykar had donated a drone to Ukraine even back then.

As per official data released by Moscow, over 1,250 Ukrainian drones including Bayraktar TB2s have been destroyed since February 24, the day it launched a military offensive against Ukraine.

A Foreign Policy report said differences had emerged between frontline troops, airmen, and the senior Ukrainian General Staff, where the latter continues to push for heavy reliance on the Turkish-made drones. The UCAVs had been effective against Russian armored and logistics columns in the initial days of the war before beginning to get rapidly shot down, forcing the Ukrainians to reduce their employment to 20 to 30 sorties a day.

The TB-2 shot to fame in the September 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, where videos show the drones destroying scores of Armenian artillery, armor, bunkers, and air defense systems, The Eurasian Times reports.

Tactical successes, nevertheless, their role in the overall Azerbaijani victory was also greatly exaggerated, with many of the battlefield victories achieved by long-range fires and artillery – apparently something also heavily employed by Russia to devastating effect in Ukraine.

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