Bayrakatar Maker Says The Whole World Is Their Customer After Ukraine
Ukraine's destruction of Russian artillery systems and armored vehicles with Turkish Bayraktar TB2 aerial drones has made "the whole world" a customer, according to its designer, Nailia Bagiroba, and Guy Faulconbridge reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: Ukraine helped develop the engine of the Bayraktar TB2 and it may even be producing the unmanned vehicle.
Selcuk Bayraktar, who runs the Istanbul firm Baykar with his brother Haluk, said the drones had shown how technology was revolutionizing modern warfare.
"Bayraktar TB2 is doing what it was supposed to do – taking out some of the most advanced anti-aircraft systems and advanced artillery systems and armored vehicles," he told Reuters as he stood beside the new Akinci drone at an exhibition in Baku. "The whole world is a customer."
The TB2, which has a 12-meter wingspan and soars to 25,000 feet before swooping to destroy tanks and artillery with laser-guided armor-piercing bombs, helped undermine Russia's overwhelming military superiority.
Such is the drone's renown that it became the subject of a patriotic expletive-strewn hit song in Ukraine that mocked Russian troops, with the chorus "Bayraktar, Bayraktar."
Ukraine helped develop TB2’s engine of the TB2 and it may even be producing the unmanned vehicle.
Beyond satire, the Bayraktar drone has received attention from Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the defense ministry has mentioned it at least 45 times in public since the war began on Feb. 24.
Baykar, founded in the 1980s by Bayraktar's father, Ozdemir Bayraktar, began to focus on unmanned aircraft in 2005 as Turkey sought to strengthen its local defense industry. The TB2 has been such a factor in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Nagorno-Karabakh as well as Ukraine that it now spearheads Turkey's global defense export push.