The chief executive of Turkish defense manufacturer Baykar told Reuters on Tuesday that the company has begun construction on a factory close to Kiev, where it would employ about 500 people and produce either its TB2 or TB3 drone types.
After being utilized by the Ukrainian military to stop Russian forces by destroying armored vehicles and artillery systems, Turkish-made Bayraktar drones have become well-known worldwide.
According to Baykar, agreements have been struck with 30 nations for the export of their TB2 drone. According to think tank SIPRI, they have included Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Libya, and Ukraine since 2018.
“Building our factory is underway. On the fringes of the World Defense Show in Riyadh, Baykar CEO Haluk Bayraktar stated, “We will begin work on internal machinery, equipment, and organizational structure after construction is completed, which should take about a year.”
“The factory in Ukraine is a big one, we are planning to employ around 500 people,” he stated.
Although Bayraktar stated that the plant in Ukraine would have the capacity to produce approximately 120 drones annually, it remained unclear whether the manufacturing would be concentrated on the TB2 or TB3 drone model.
When asked if the factory would be concerned about security concerns arising from the ongoing fighting, he responded that preparations were “fully moving ahead” and that “nothing” could stop them.
As previously reported, an agreement was reached between the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the Turkish business Baykar Makina to build a service facility in Ukraine for the upkeep and repair of unmanned aerial vehicles.