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TB2 "Bayraktash"

Ukraine's Defense Ministry obtained a batch of Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles in early 2020. The ministry's press service noted in March 2020 that from the moment of accepting Bayraktar UAVs into service, it took less than three months of training to fly them in the Ukrainian sky. "The flights at the airfield were preceded by long-term simulator training, where each pilot had to complete a certain amount of flight hours on the simulator. In addition, this unmanned complex requires serious air traffic control efforts, similar to those applied to manned aircraft. We quickly lifted Bayraktar TB2 into the sky and started combat training," the statement says.

By July 2020 Ankara and Kyiv were discussing the issue of joint development and even production of Bayraktar drones in Ukraine, provided that appropriate conditions are provided, Turkish Ambassador to Ukraine Yagmur Ahmet Guldere said. "The systems of unmanned aerial vehicles Bayraktar have already been purchased by Ukraine. We had discussions on various topics, and this issue was also discussed by the two countries. Joint development of even more powerful systems, and even the production of Bayraktar drones in Ukraine, has also been discussed, when appropriate conditions are provided. I think that the defense industry can become a new symbol in Turkish-Ukrainian cooperation, including this particular element," the ambassador said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

According to him, the countries had two important meetings in the field of the defense industry. "Recently, this month, the Turkish Defense Minister visited Ukraine and there was also a meeting of our defense industries, including representatives of the Defense Ministries, earlier this year. During these meetings, we discussed very important projects that will make Turkey and Ukraine stronger together. This will help us improve our national security, jointly develop certain systems. We are working very intensively in this area," he said.

Ukraine said 30 October 2020 it planned to buy more than 40 military drones from Turkey and wanted to establish a large-scale assembly plant to build the unmanned combat aircraft. It came as the two countries signed military cooperation agreements on October 16, deepening their defense partnership, which is seen as an effort to counterbalance Russia's dominance in the Black Sea region.

The Ukrainian army needed strategic-level devices today, so the search for a possible option for procurement abroad has begun. The choice is small - it was likely that neither the United States, nor Israel, nor China will sell such high-tech weapons to Ukraine for various reasons. There was only one option left - Turkey. The need for the army was so high that the issue of procurement was decided at the highest state level. And in November 2018, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko personally signed an agreement on the purchase of one complex of unmanned aerial vehicles Bayraktar TB2 "Bayraktash".

On November 3-4, 2018, an agreement on the purchase of drones for the Armed Forces was signed in Turkey. The contract provided for the supply of six Bayraktar TB2 combat drones, two control stations and 200 guided missiles. The agreement also included a set of spare parts, service support, staff training. The cost of the contract is $ 69 million. In March 2019, these devices were delivered to Ukraine, where they successfully passed state tests and were put into service.

In October 2019, the Turkish company Baykar completed deliveries of Bayraktar TB 2 drones to Ukraine. After receiving them, the final acceptance tests of the UAV took place in Khmelnytsky region, during the tests the combat capabilities of the aircraft, the set of maximum altitude, orbital flight, landing, main and emergency power supply systems were checked.

According to some unofficial data, since April 2020 they have been on combat duty along the line of contact in Donbass in the area of responsibility of OTU Vostok. On the basis of the Air Command "East" during the bilateral command and staff training in practice, the latest means of air reconnaissance of domestic production were used. During the July 2020 exercise, which was conducted under the leadership of the Commander of the Air Force, Colonel-General Serhiy Drozdov, the task of detecting and destroying targets in another region of Ukraine in the interests of a group of troops simultaneously with domestic also performed "Bannermen" devices made in Turkey, adopted by the Ukrainian Air Force. It will be recalled that Bayraktar TB2 operators underwent a three-month training course in Turkey.

At the initial stage, the Ukrainian military, who underwent training courses in Turkey, are assisted in the operation of these samples by Turkish specialists - representatives of the manufacturer "Baykar Makina", so today the Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 conducted training flights under their supervision. In addition to the UAVs themselves, ammunition, related equipment and simulators were also delivered to Ukraine. Negotiations on the purchase of these UAVs lasted about two years, during which time representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine visited Turkey and got acquainted with the various stages of testing Bayraktar TB2.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine planned to purchase in Turkey and put into service in the Armed Forces of 48 Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles. Vadim Nozdrya, General Director of Ukrspetsexport, said this in an interview with Livy Bereg, Ukrinform reported 07 October 2020. "We are interested in the development of the production of Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles, as the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, according to the Vision of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, plans to purchase from 6 to 12 such strike systems in the near future. The complex includes four drones and one base station. So, Ukraine plans to get 48 drones, which the Ministry of Defense plans to put into service in the Armed Forces," Nozdrya said. According to him, the price will be attractive, as it is a large assembly at a joint production in Ukraine.

Ukrainian channels published two videos on 05 ASeptember 2023 of strikes by Bayraktar TB-2 UAVs, that have not appeared for a long time on Russian equipment on the Black Sea coast of the Kherson region. In the conditions of a stabilized front line and a high density of Russian air defense systems, the active use of Bayraktars as a strike drone was last observed a very long time ago - in the fall of 2022 . Then, having at its disposal the American AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missiles, the Ukrainians were able to take the Russian air defense by surprise and create a temporary corridor for their UAVs.

Apparently, the reason for the free use of Bayraktars this time is a similar case : a few days ago, the Armed Forces of Ukraine delivered a successful strikeon the positional area of air defense of the RF Armed Forces in the Crimea, covering, among other things, the southern coast of the Kherson region. Also in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, the active use of HARM missiles, MALD decoys and electronic warfare systems to suppress Russian air defense systems was noticed. In the near future, this hole will be closed and Turkish attack drones will return back to the niche of scouts hanging tens of kilometers from the front, however, this situation indicates how important the protection of air defense systems is and how this can affect the overall situation.

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