Bayraktar drones have become a symbol of the successful fight against the Russian aggressor.
There are many videos circulating on social networks depicting Bayraktar drones destroying Russian military columns. The technology played an especially important role towards the the beginning of the full-scale invasion when Russian defenses were not ready to repel such drone attacks.
Before Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February, Ukrainian authorities bought approximately 50 Bayraktar strike drones for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
On March 2, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that additional Bayraktars (the actual number unspecified) had been delivered to the country and were being prepared for combat use.
On August 8, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, announced the construction of a Bayraktar factory in Ukraine.
He confirmed that the owner of the Turkish company, Baykar, had already established a company in Ukraine, purchased land and developed a manufacturing plant project.
Last week, the Ukrainian government approved a bilateral agreement for plant construction and sent it to Parliament for ratification. A significant number of the models manufactured at this plant will feature Ukrainian-made components, Bodnar noted.
Bayraktar drones are the optimal solution in terms of price-quality ratio, with costs in the range of $2-6 million (depending on the configuration). Their capabilities are almost equal to more expensive drones costing over $100 million.
The drones have a length of 6.50 meters and a wingspan of 12 meters. They can stay in the air for more than 24 hours and have a maximum speed of about 220 kilometers per hour.
The use of drones serves two main purposes – reconnaissance and attack. Firstly, an optoelectronic head allows each drone to be used as a long-range aerial reconnaissance system. That in turn increases the command’s situational awareness and allows for online adjustment to artillery fire, with a simultaneous assessment of firing effectiveness and enemy losses.
Secondly, Bayraktar drones incorporate laser guidance based on the “see-and-shoot” principle. The weapon can be trained precisely on military targets (tanks, armored personnel carriers, cannons, etc.) with limited collateral losses – especially important for battles in urban areas.
Experts consider the latter to be particularly important because, unlike the Russian army, the Ukrainian military seeks to avoid the destruction of civilian infrastructure, instead concentrating exclusively on the aggressor’s forces.