The Ukrainian Naval Forces Command received the first batch of Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) systems. The Ukrainian Army already has Baykar’s Bayraktar TB2s in its inventory, but this is the first time a product from the defense company is entering the Turkish Navy’s inventory. Ukraine had ordered the UCAVs and Turkish MILGEM (National Ship) Ada-class corvettes at the end of 2020. The UCAVs were ordered from Baykar Defense, one of the two top drone makers in Turkey.
As a part of its military modernization program Armed Forces of Ukraine acquired 12 Bayraktar TB2s in 2019. After the successful use of the aircraft the Ukrainian Navy had ordered a separate order composed of 5 additional Bayraktar TB2s. According to the statement made by the naval officials the additional aircraft were delivered within 2020. Meanwhile, Turkish and Ukrainian officials have announced the establishment of a joint venture to produce 48 additional Bayraktar TB2s in Ukraine.
Following the increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, a Bayraktar TB2 conducted a reconnaissance flight on 9 April 2021, over the Donbas region. This was the first operationalization of the aircraft by the Ukrainian Forces within an active conflict zone. In July 2021, Kyiv post reported that Ukraine strikes rebel-held position in Donbass region using Bayraktar TB2 drones.
The Bayraktar TB2 is a Turkish medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations. It is manufactured by the Turkish company Baykar Makina, primarily for the Turkish Armed Forces. The aircraft is monitored and controlled by an aircrew in the Ground Control Station via Türksat satellite. Bayraktar means “ensign” or “standard-bearer” in Turkish. The development of the UAV has been largely credited to Selçuk Bayraktar, a former MIT graduate student, and son-in-law of President Erdogan.