Ukraine is planning to procure 24 more Bayraktar TB2 (Tactical Block 2) unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) in the coming period, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant-General Valeriy Zaluzhny, who very recently assumed the role, said in an interview with Azerbaijani news agency Report Saturday.
Currently, there are 12 Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs in Ukraine’s inventory being used in the air and naval forces.
The top military official said it “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.
On the use and procurement of the Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs, Zaluzhny said: “Firstly, we need to learn how to work effectively with them, and secondly, we must definitely know the tactics in the forms of their use.”
“We must take a comprehensive approach to the issue,” he said, noting that if Ukraine had the experience of Azerbaijan, which gained significant leverage over Armenian forces during the recent conflict over the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, “it would be much easier.”
In their previous statements, Ukrainian authorities set an upper limit on how many Bayraktar TB2s should be purchased at 48 units.
State-owned Ukrspecexport, the defense export agency, signed an agreement worth $69 million (TL 584.4 million) with Baykar for the supply of six Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs, two control stations and 200 smart ammunitions in January 2019. Baykar delivered the orders in two months.
The Ukrainian navy received the first batch of Bayraktar TB2s in July.
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