Turkey is set to deliver an undisclosed number of armed drones to Kuwait in a contract worth $370 million. International demand for Baykar’s TB2 drones soared after they featured in conflicts in Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan and interest in them increased further following their use by Ukraine’s military to thwart Russian forces. People in several countries started fundraising campaigns to buy more of the useful drones for Ukraine amid its war to fight back Russian forces. The statement did not reveal how many drones would be delivered to Kuwait or when. It added that with Kuwait the number of countries that signed contracts for the Bayraktar TB2 had increased to 28.
“A contract worth $370 million was signed with Kuwait Defence Ministry to export Bayraktar TB2 drones. Baykar won out in competition with significant firms from America, Europe and China, in the (bidding) process going on since 2019,” Baykar said in a statement.
The 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 Bayraktar TB2 platform has a blended wing body design with an inverted V-tail structure. While the Turkish Armed Forces describes Bayraktar TB2 as “Tactical UAV Class” to prevent it from being a competitor to the TAI Anka UAV, international standards would classify it as a medium-altitude long-endurance UAV.
The development of the UAV has been largely credited to Selçuk Bayraktar, a former MIT graduate student. Since the beginning of the UAV R&D process in 2003, Baykar has earned 75% of all its revenues from exports. In 2021, it became the export leader of the defense and aerospace industry, according to the data of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM). Fully 99.3% on the contracts signed in 2022 were for export, for a total value of $1.18 billion dollars. Baykar, which is the biggest exporter of Turkey’s defense and aerospace industry, had a turnover of $1.4 billion dollars in 2022.