Turkish drone magnate Baykar said on Monday that it would donate three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Ukraine, asking that the money raised in a successful crowdfunding campaign to buy several of its famed Bayraktar TB2s be poured back into the war-torn country.
The TB2 has been hugely popular in Ukraine, where it helped destroy Russian artillery systems and armored vehicles. It even became the subject of a patriotic expletive-strewn hit song in Ukraine that mocked Russian troops, with the chorus “Bayraktar, Bayraktar.”
Baykar said the crowdfunding campaign in Ukraine had reached the milestone in a few days and that business leaders as well ordinary people contributed to the fund.
“Baykar will not accept payment for the TB2s, and will send three UAVs free of charge to the Ukrainian war front,” the company said in a statement.
“We ask that raised funds be remitted instead to the struggling people of Ukraine,” it said.
Russia has previously complained to Turkey over its sale of Bayraktar TB2 armed drones to Ukraine, a high-level Turkish bureaucrat said, but added that the sales by Baykar, a private company, were not state-to-state deals.
The TB2, which has also been used in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Karabakh, now spearheads Turkey’s global defense export push.
Lithuania’s Defense Ministry said earlier this month that Baykar would donate a TB2 to Lithuania for transfer to Ukraine after Lithuanians crowdfunded nearly 6 million euros ($6.35 million) to buy it.
Source: Daily Sabah