Ukraine plans to purchase more Turkish drones, Bayraktar TB2 (Tactical Block 2), in the 2021-2022 period.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant-General Valeriy Zaluzhny, said this in a commentary to the Report Eastern European Bureau, an Azerbaijani news agency.
Ukraine currently has 12 Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) in its inventory being used by its air and naval forces.
The top military official said that the country "planned to purchase" four more of the UCAVs to "meet the needs of the armed forces in 2021-2022," adding that Kyiv plans to replenish its arsenal with locally produced UCAVs in the future.
The commander-in-chief said the Army would focus on training personnel in operating Bayraktar TB2 drones.
Indicating the need to train personnel to operate the drones "effectively", Zaluzhny said: "We must definitely know the tactics of their application. It’s not enough to just buy Bayraktars."
The Ukrainian Armed Forces purchased six Bayraktar TB2 UAVs and three ground control stations from Turkey in 2019, which were delivered in two months. In July this year, the first batch of TB2s was delivered to the Ukrainian Naval Forces.
Entering the Turkish army’s inventory in 2014, the Bayraktar TB2 has been sold to countries including Ukraine, Qatar, Azerbaijan and Poland. In May, Poland became the first European Union and NATO member state to acquire drones from Turkey.
Turkish drones are also said to have played a crucial role in last year's six-week war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.