Owing to the success of the Turkish-made Bayraktar drones in resisting Russian forces during the early stages of the war in Ukraine, Russia reportedly now wants to manufacture them for its own armed forces, CNN Turkey reported.
According to the news outlet, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at a party conference held behind closed doors that Russian President Vladimir Putin asked him to help Russia get a “complete drone factory.”
The Bayraktar remote-controlled loitering ammunition drone is made by Baykar Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., primarily for the Turkish Armed Forces, but it is also in service in a dozen other countries in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and North Africa.
The company, however, categorically refused to sell the drones to Russia, saying it “fully stands with Ukraine.”
In the early stages of the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s Bayraktar drones were very successful in taking out Russian armor, artillery, and infantry. As the Russian forces solidified their air defenses, the slow-flying drone (220 km/h) has become increasingly vulnerable, and the Ukrainian military scaled back their usage.
The lightweight and relatively cheap drone can loiter independently above an operation theater for up to 27 hours and release its maximum 150 kg payload (missiles or bombs) at the remote operator’s command.