Turkish combat drone maker Baykar has delivered the first batch of Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Poland after signing an agreement back in 2021. The contract to supply the Polish Armed Forces with four batches of Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs was signed in May 2021. Each of the batches includes six armed Bayraktar TB2 drones and three mobile control stations. In total, 24 UCAVs will enter the Polish military’s inventory. The contract will provide a 24-month warranty, a training and logistics package and a technology transfer ensuring the possibility of servicing and repairing.
The contract also includes the delivery of SAR radars, simulators and a stock of spare parts as well as the delivery of MAM-L and MAM-C laser-guided missiles that were developed by another Turkish defense giant, Roketsan and used by the Bayraktar UCAVs. The contract, which concluded without a procurement process, signed during a visit by Polish President Andrzej Duda to Turkey. Authorities in fellow NATO member Turkey say the country has become the world’s fourth-largest drone producer since President Tayyip Erdogan increased domestic production to reduce reliance on Western arms.
The Polish official recalled that “at that time,” the country’s political opposition had criticized the purchase and said they had no use for the weapon. Speaking during a meeting with Polish soldiers, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Mariusz Blazczak said Friday: “Today, we received the first delivery of Bayraktar drones. Next UAV systems will be consistently introduced to the Polish Armed Forces. We use all means to make Poland safe. What is happening in Ukraine shows that they were wrong. We were right that it is an effective weapon. This weapon, in the hands of the Ukrainians, allows to effectively defend the territory of Ukraine.”
The Baykar Bayraktar TB2 is a 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 Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., primarily for the Turkish Armed Forces. The aircraft are monitored and controlled by an aircrew in a ground control station, including weapons employment. The development of the UAV has been largely credited to Selçuk Bayraktar, a former MIT graduate student. The drone is 6.5 meters (21 feet) long and has a span of 12 meters. It achieves a flight duration of up to 27 hours.