Serbia Eyes Buying Turkey's Bayraktar Combat Drones

Serbia Eyes Buying Turkey’s Bayraktar Combat Drones

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic said Monday that he plans to purchase Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Vucic praised Bayraktar combat drones, noting that Serbia is very interested in drone systems and will certainly buy more of them in the future. He also said that he has always wanted to bolster Serbia’s security. Emphasizing that Serbia is a ‘truly neutral country’ in the military sense, Vucic said they want to defend and protect their own airspace and territory. He underlined that the UAV systems are expensive but “very smart” investments.

The Bayraktar TB2 is a Turkish medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations manufactured by Turkey′s Baykar company primarily for the Turkish Air Force (TAF). The aircraft is monitored and controlled by an aircrew in the Ground Control Station, including weapons employment. Bayraktar means “ensign” or “standard-bearer” in Turkish. The development of the UAV has been largely credited to Selçuk Bayraktar, a former MIT student.

The Bayraktar TB2 was used to kill PKK terrorists across the border in Iraq in early November 2019. In June 2019, international news media reported that the Libyan Government of National Accord used Bayraktar to strike an airbase held by General Haftar’s Libyan National Army. The Bayraktar TB2 were deployed and extensively used in coordinated action to strike targets on the ground during the Operation Spring Shield. During the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Bayraktar TB2s have been used against Armenian Armed Forces and against military posts of Armenia.

The Bayraktar TB2 armed UAV was developed and manufactured by Turkish defense company Baykar Technologies; it has been used by the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkey’s Security Directorate since 2015. (Bayraktar photo)