United to win: Turkish defense company Baykar to invest $100 million to build drone factory in Ukraine
The Turkish company Baykar plans to invest $100 million in three projects in Ukraine.
Baykar CEO Haluk Bayraktar announced this on Friday at the International Defense Industries Forum in Kyiv, Ukrinform reports.
What is the problem?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become the major weapon of warfare in the Russian-Ukrainian war. A large-scale confrontation of drones has unfolded on the front line.
They are consistently used by the Ukrainian military for combat and reconnaissance, so they often get damaged or destroyed in hostilities, and soldiers need replacements.
Strike drone production in Ukraine has become crucial for supplying Ukrainian soldiers with needed capabilities, which effectively damage the enemy on the battlefield.
Not only UAVs but also land, surface, and underwater drones are being actively developed in Ukraine. By the end of the current year, Ukraine wants to increase drone production by 140 times.
What is the solution?
Türkiye joined the drone development and production in Ukraine. Baykar, the manufacturer of Bayraktar TB2 attack drones, plans to invest $100 million in three projects, which include a factory, a service center, and a head office.
How does it work?
According to Baykar CEO Haluk Bayraktar, the construction, which will take about 1.5 years to complete, has already started.
"We plan to employ at least 300 people here. Cooperation continues," Bayraktar said.
He highlighted that the production would be self-sufficient, ecological, and mutually beneficial since Ukraine has unique engine technologies, and the Turkish company produces drones on which the engines are installed.
"We also face some challenges," Baykar's CEO added. "These are the supply chain, finding human capital due to the impact of the war and developing regulations that will support these investments."
Baykartar noted that the current war had become a war of drones. Ukraine has some advantages because it uses various types of vehicles.
He added that feedback from the Ukrainian military on using the Baykar technology is especially important. Based on soldiers' responses, the Bayraktar drones used in Ukraine were equipped with several unique systems.
The defense company's CEO also recalled the fundraising campaigns initiated by volunteers in Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania to purchase Bayraktar drones for the Ukrainian army. Impressed by people's united resilience, Baykar donated drones to Ukraine instead of accepting the payment. All donations raised in the campaigns were used, in particular, to purchase radar systems that have already detected thousands of targets and brought significant results on the battlefield.
"These donations amounted to $106 million," Bayraktar reported.
Rubryka reported that in July of this year, the Turkish company Baykar started building a factory to produce Bayraktar strike drones in Ukraine.
Before that, Baykar received license permits from the Turkish government to establish the production of two drone types in Ukraine — Bayraktar TB2 and Akıncı.
Ukraine has signed three contracts with the Turkish company Baykar.