The Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been seeing unprecedented demand from around the world following its deployment in military operations, according to a senior executive at the drone magnate Baykar.
“This interest has increased greatly particularly following the operations in Idlib and Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Selçuk Bayraktar, chief technology officer (CTO) of Baykar, the developer of the Bayraktar TB2.
Bayraktar even said, “from time to time we have difficulties in meeting demands.” His remarks came on the sidelines of a rocket competition in central Turkey’s Aksaray province.
The drone earned worldwide fame following its deployment in Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan, paving the way for more export deals.
“Since our Bayraktar TB2 UAV participated in the Idlib Operation (Operation Spring Shield), Operation Olive Branch, Operation Euphrates Shield and finally the operation in Azerbaijan, there has been an unprecedented interest from around the world,” said Bayraktar.
The drones had devastated Bashar Assad regime ground forces during clashes in Idlib province in February-March 2020.
They also gave decisive air support to Turkey’s ally in Libya and successfully guided airstrikes that assassinated senior leaders of the PKK terrorist group over the last two years.
The success has enabled Baykar to secure more than 70% of its revenues from exports, said Bayraktar.
“There are more than 10 contracts signed so far. Exports of some of these have already been done,” he noted.
The Bayraktar TB2 has been sold to countries including Ukraine, Qatar, Azerbaijan and Poland. In May, Poland became the first European Union and NATO member state to acquire drones from Turkey.
Saudi Arabia is also said to have been interested in buying Turkish drones. Latvia also hinted that it could be the second European Union and NATO member state to acquire the Turkish unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs). Albania is also interested in striking a deal to procure Bayraktar TB2s.
Bayraktar also stressed an intense demand for the Akıncı UCAV, the first of which was just recently delivered to the Turkish military.
Akıncı is the most advanced and sophisticated drone built by the country to date.
“There is a lot of interest in it (Akıncı), too,” Bayraktar said. “We have not yet responded to those requests because we waited to deliver and qualify our aircraft.”
The Baykar CTO stressed that the Turkish defense industry would continue to make a name for itself. “I think we will start to see this success in UCAVs in other areas as well,” Bayraktar noted.