Ukraine is forming a joint venture company with Turkey to domestically produce as many as 48 Bayraktar TB2 combat drones, according to Ukrspetsexport, a state-owned Ukrainian defense manufacturer.
Bayraktar TB2 is manufactured by Turkey’s Baykar Makina, a manufacturer of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and artificial intelligence systems, Defense Post recalls.
In 2019, Ukrspetsexport and Baykar Makina established Black Sea Shield to develop UAS, engine technologies, and guided munitions.
Read also Ukraine unveils brand new Sokil-300 recon strike drone (Photo) Ukrspetsexport CEO Vadym Nozdria in an interview with LB.ua said a company similar to Black Sea Shield is now being formed to deal with UAV production in Ukraine.
"We are interested in the development of production of Bayraktar TB2 strike drones, as the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine … plans to purchase six to 12 such strike complexes in the near future," Nozdria said.
Ihorovych further explained the joint venture's current focus is to manufacture the Skif anti-tank guided missile.
He added that Turkey has already placed an order for the missiles.
On the possibility of UAV exports to third countries, Nozdria said the two companies have agreed to let Ukraine export them to any buyer, barring sales to countries to which Turkey is already exporting its drones, Azerbaijan among them.
Read also Zelensky vows not to reduce Ukrainian army budget in 2021 Bayraktar TB2 drones have recently been in the news for reportedly playing an important role in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The drones manufactured in Ukraine will be a bit different from the ones produced in Turkey, Nozdria said.