As if the relationship between Turkey and Russia couldn’t get any more complex, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced over the weekend that his government will purchase a dozen Turk-made Bayraktar TB2 combat drones for $69 million. Since the Ukrainian military is engaged in conflict with Russian-backed forces, it’s anyone’s guess how that will affect the relationship between Istanbul and Moscow.
Its manufacturer, Baykar, says the TB2 can fly for 24 hours, reach 24,000 feet, and carry a 121-pound payload.
Ukraine has been accelerating development of its combat drones, but still lacks the ability to meet some needs, says Samuel Bendett, a researcher at the CNA Corporation and a fellow in Russia Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council. Ukraine is developing a mid-altitude armed drone that bears a strong resemblance to the Bayraktar, the Gorlitsa, but, says Bendett, it’s about a year away from deployment “so this Turkish purchase may be a stop-gap measure for Ukraine to get smart on the current [unmanned combat aerial vehicle, or UCAV] use. This would be similar to what Russian has done when they purchased older Israeli UAVs to fill their own capability gap,” he says. “While Ukraine has many UAV – as well as UCAV — plans, only few projects came to fruition, such as several small ISR models currently in use in the country’s east.”
Opinion from pro-Ukrainian side - this drones are useless and buying them is actually paying bribe to Erdogan in return of his help in deal with Konstantinpol Patriarch. Author insist Israel-made IAI Harop (purchased by Azerbaijan are way more useful (have to note here he is missing the fact of electronic countermeasures making both systems useless) . Anyway, his final statement is "Azerbaijan is buying what is needed for war; Ukraine is buying what is needed to Poroshenko to stay in power"