Baykar drone factory in Ukraine to be complete in two years: CEO

Turkey’s Baykar is pushing ahead with plans to build a drone factory in Ukraine, with construction set to be complete in two years, the company announced. 

Baykar’s CEO Haluk Bayraktar announced the news on October 27, 2022, at SAHA defense expo, according to Reuters. 

Bayraktar explained that the plan is “moving ahead” despite the ongoing Russian invasion and the design phase of the factory is finished. 

According to the Reuters report, Turkey and Ukraine had agreed to build a factory before Russia invaded in February 2022. The plant is set to make use of Ukrainian parts to manufacture various kind of surveillance and combat drones. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Baykar Chief Executive Officer Haluk Bayraktar met in Kyiv in September 2022 to discuss details of the plant’s construction.  

Baykar’s involvement with Ukraine has sharply increased since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022. 

The Turkish-made TB2 drone become a prominent part of Ukraine’s resistance effort, leading to several successful crowdfunding campaigns to procure more of them for the Ukrainian military. 

Russia has reportedly said that if such a factory is built, then it will become a target for “demilitarization”.  

Ukrainian-made engines are also intended to be installed on Baykar’s prop- and jet-powered drones, such as the Kizilma, which the manufacturer describes as an unmanned fighter jet. 

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