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Outside Kyiv, a plant to produce Bayraktar drones is being built

Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of the Turkish drone producer Baykar

Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of the Turkish drone producer Baykar

The Turkey-based defense company Baykar is building a plant outside Kyiv, where it plans to employ about 500 people to produce Bayraktar TB2 or TB3 drones. The company’s CEO announced it in an interview with Reuters.

The company claims to have struck deals on the export of its TB2 drones with 30 countries. Since 2018, these have been Ukraine, Ethiopia, Libya, and Azerbaijan, according to think tank SIPRI.

Quote"Our factory is being built… we need about 12 months to finish construction, and then we will move on to internal machinery, equipment, and organizational structure," said Baykar CEO Haluk Bayraktar.

According to Bayraktar, the plant will produce approximately 120 drones a year. However, it is still unclear whether the Ukrainian plant will focus on the production of the TB2 or TB3 drone model.

When asked if the security issues caused by the ongoing hostilities would be a concern for the plant, the CEO said that the plans were "fully moving ahead" and that "nothing" could halt them.

Bayraktar said that, looking at the current year, the firm planned to double domestic production of the Akinci, which stood at 36 units in 2023, while TB2 output would stay unchanged at 230 units. The company also aims to produce new models, Kızılema and TB3, "in the tens," Bayraktar added.

Turkish-made Bayraktar drones have gained prominence globally after being used by Ukraine's military to destroy Russian armored vehicles and artillery systems.

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