Baykar: TB2 Bayraktar drones' maker to complete plant in Ukraine in two years
The construction of a Turkish drone manufacturing plant in Ukraine will be completed in two years despite the Russian invasion, drone maker Baykar said on Thursday.
Haluk Bayraktar, the CEO of Baykar, the company which produces the renowned TB2 Bayraktar drones, told Reuters that the detailed design phase for the plant had been completed.
“Our plan is moving ahead. And we will move ahead with construction actually... within two years we would like to finish it,” he said.
'Our plan is moving ahead. And we will move ahead with construction actually... within two years we would like to finish it'
- Haluk Bayraktar, Baykar's CEO
Turkey and Ukraine last year signed a deal to establish a second manufacturing plant in Ukraine after the two countries deepened their cooperation in the defence industry for the co-production of crucial engines for aerial vehicles and tech transfer.
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Baykar’s Bayraktar TB2 drones have a proven track record of success against several adversaries in conflicts in Libya, Syria, and Nagorno-Karabakh. But they had not been used against an army with sophisticated electronic warfare capabilities and state-of-the-art air defence systems until the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
So far they have proved extremely effective in combating Russian troops deployed deep inside Ukrainian territory.
Middle East Eye reported in April that a Bayraktar TB2 was used by Ukraine to hit two oil depots well inside Russian territory, taking the war behind the front lines and embarrassing Russia's air defences.
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov revealed in June that Ukraine has received 50 armed drones from Baykar since Russia's 24 February invasion.
Reznikov added that Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding for more drones, which were expected to be delivered the following month.
Ukraine features prominently in Baykar's supply chain, especially with the new heavy-lifter drone, Akinci, and the unmanned fighter jet, Kizilelma, or "Golden Apple", currently under development. Both use Ukrainian engines from Motor Sich MSICH.UAX and from Ivchenko-Progress.
Bayraktar added that Baykar expects to net around $1bn in export revenues this year, about 50 percent higher than last year's $650m, with a further 50 percent growth expected in 2023
Last year the company made up a fifth of the $3.2bn Turkey earned in defence exports, according to data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly.
The company plans to re-invest its revenues and expand its production lines, CEO Bayraktar said.
"Our production capacity with TB2, we do 20 units per month. For 2023, our target is to do a minimum of 30 [units] a month," he said.
Baykar, the Turkish manufacturer of the drones, has reportedly established a production facility in the United Arab Emirates and President Vladimir Putin wanted to set up a similar facility in Russia.
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