Foreign strike UAVs for Ukraine: "Bayraktars" and a replacement for them

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UAV Bayraktar TB2 Turkish Air Force. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Until recently, the air force had a fairly large fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance and strike purposes. They tried to use this technique against Russian troops - but it was only enough for a month. To date, the strike unmanned "fleet" has been completely destroyed, and its restoration through imports is hardly possible.

Import dependency


In 2018, Ukraine and Turkey signed a contract for the supply of several unmanned aviation Bayraktar TB2 complexes. In accordance with it, in the coming months, the Ukrainian Air Force was to receive six drones, as well as control stations and weapons. Since 2020, the possibility of launching joint production has been discussed, incl. with the assembly of finished products at Ukrainian facilities and using a locally produced engine.



The exact number of delivered and jointly assembled UAVs remained unknown until recently. However, Russian intelligence managed to establish it, and at the end of March, our Ministry of Defense disclosed this information. It was reported that at the time of the start of the Special Operation, the Ukrainian Air Force had 36 Turkish attack drones.

It should be noted that TB2 are not the only UAVs in the Ukrainian army. In service there is equipment of a number of other types of local and foreign production. However, only Bayraktar is capable of carrying full-fledged air-to-ground weapons.


One of the Ukrainian "Bayraktars" of the first batches. It has been destroyed by now. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Thus, all the strike capabilities of the unmanned fleet of the Ukrainian Air Force were provided by only one type of equipment. At the same time, he was of foreign origin, which imposed certain restrictions and was potentially a source of serious problems.

Forced demilitarization


The Ukrainian military has tried to use its unmanned systems against Russian forces and is even said to have achieved some results. Kyiv propaganda regularly talked about certain victories of the Bayraktars, but this information often did not receive confirmation. Moreover, some of these reports turned out to be lies, and "evidence" was forged.

Meanwhile, Turkish-made UAVs faced opposition from Russian military air defense and naturally suffered losses. In addition, home airfields were destroyed by various means. A few days ago, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that 35 TB2 products were destroyed in the first month of the Special Operation.


The Ukrainian UAV control station is another target for a Russian strike. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

In the following days, the defeat of the Bayraktar TB2 UAV was again reported. It follows from them that our air defense has completed the destruction of the entire previously identified fleet of such equipment. However, the enemy received new products of this type from unknown sources - and anti-aircraft gunners will again not be left without work.

Turkish supplies


The origin of the "extra" Turkish-made UAV is quite understandable. Under the first contracts, Ukraine received at least 6 such items, and in 2020, plans were mentioned to supply another 48 units, ready-made or in the form of assembly kits. According to all agreements and plans, in the near future the Ukrainian Air Force could create a fleet of 54 Bayraktars.

Until February 24, at least 36 units entered service, and continued deliveries were expected. New information on this matter appeared in mid-March, after the start of the Special Operation. Domestic and foreign media reported that Turkish military transport aviation secretly delivered a new batch of drones to Ukraine.


Service loitering ammunition Switchblade 300. Photo by the US Department of Defense

The volume of this party is unknown, but it could partially make up for the losses incurred. In the following days and weeks, Ukrainian specialists could prepare the received equipment for operation and send it into flight. And then to lose the first of the new drones - already the 37th in recent weeks.

American help


In recent weeks, Ukraine has received a number of UAVs of various types from foreign countries. Such military-technical assistance included only light reconnaissance systems, while no heavy and/or strike vehicles were supplied. However, in mid-March, the situation changed, and it became known about the imminent delivery of military equipment.

The United States announced its intention to supply Ukraine with 100 AeroVironment Switchblade loitering munitions of an unnamed model. The transfer of such products is expected in the near future, but the exact dates were not called. In addition, the practical benefits of such supplies are questionable.

It should be recalled that a lot of various UAVs are produced in the USA, incl. medium and heavy complexes for reconnaissance and strike purposes. However, they do not plan to transfer such equipment to Ukraine. Such military-technical assistance is hampered by several legal and political factors.


American reconnaissance and strike UAV MQ-1. Photo by the US Department of Defense

Features of the export of American heavy UAVs were recently reviewed by Breaking Defense. It recalls that any export contract for military products must be approved by the State Department. This agency reviews the agreements against US policy and international agreements and then makes its decision whether to allow or deny exports.

Curiously, the State Department views drones and their sale in light of the Missile Technology Control Regime treaty. As a result, attention is paid to the performance characteristics of the product and its potential in the context weapons mass destruction. Light and medium UAVs with limited performance easily pass this test, and their sale is allowed without special restrictions.

Unlike them, medium and heavy complexes with weapons and other special abilities are allowed to be delivered only to the closest allies. Despite all the statements and assurances, Ukraine is not among the closest friends of the United States. Accordingly, she does not have to rely on receiving heavy MQ-1 or MQ-9 and American-made Hellfire missiles. US policy will allow the Ukrainian army to arm itself only with ultra-light Switchblades. Of course, if by the time they are delivered, this army will still exist.


Heavy MQ-9C in flight. Photos of General Atomics

Deliveries and losses


Over the past few years, Ukraine, with the help of Turkish industry, has been able to build a fairly large fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles with reconnaissance and strike functions. The air fleet of 36 or more Bayraktar TB2 products in the future made it possible to conduct active hostilities against the republics of Donbass and inflict significant damage on them with limited risks for Ukrainian troops.

However, the Russian army, with all the necessary forces and means, stood up to protect the recognized republics, which did not have a developed air defense. In just a month, our military air defense destroyed the entire fleet of Ukrainian strike UAVs and knocked out a lot of drones of other classes. This reduced the capabilities of the Ukrainian army, and also dealt a blow to its pride: Bayraktar had high hopes, but it did not justify them.

Recent ones news show that Ukraine is trying to get new TB2 and make up for the losses incurred. However, the volumes of deliveries of Turkish equipment are small and do not allow to restore the former number of the fleet. You can’t count on receiving similar strike UAVs from other countries at all. At the same time, Russian troops will do everything possible to destroy the newly arrived devices at airfields and in the air.
45 comments
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  1. +4
    April 4 2022 04: 44
    It is impossible not to recognize the big plus of the UAV - the survivability of the operator. Although attack UAVs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not play a role at all, unlike reconnaissance ones, including civilian ones.
    1. +1
      April 4 2022 07: 06
      1. It will be necessary for the Americans - they will quickly put it, as in the Iran-Contra case.
      2. They will not help to make the Nazis win or lose, they will help exactly to the extent that the conflict does not stop.
  2. +18
    April 4 2022 05: 01
    The article is about nothing. Transfusions from empty to empty. Text for the sake of text.
    1. +1
      April 4 2022 07: 17
      Quote: kytx
      The article is about nothing.

      Not really... Firstly, it is said that although Turkey is trying to shift responsibility to "private firms", in the end it is the state that gives the right to supply weapons to conflict zones. This means that Turkey is in business and it is clear on whose side. In addition, shipments of "assembly kits" are mentioned. So somewhere in Ukraine there is a production (assembly) of these Pepelats. There is a task for intelligence ... Probably, it would be worth saying that the payment for new deliveries of TB2 to Ukraine comes from the United States as part of the assistance for $ 700 million allocated by Congress ... and also that the bulk of this money will be dispersed through to the manufacturing countries of the main parts of the UAV - the USA, Canada, Austria, Britain and Germany. As we can now imagine, many manufacturers of countries that are not at all friendly to us are interested in the sale of Bayraktars. Another example of a "nationalist international". Once, in approximately the same composition, they confidently nurtured a certain Austrian half-educated artist. Looks like the story is not for the future ...
      1. +2
        April 4 2022 10: 14
        With all due respect, the story of the half-educated artist was a little different. As far as I remember, he himself attacked the USSR, and the war was fought on foreign territory
        1. -2
          April 4 2022 11: 48
          Quote from trentren
          With all due respect, the story of the half-educated artist was a little different. As far as I remember, he himself attacked the USSR, and the war was fought on foreign territory

          History says that the "artist" until 1929 was as poor as a church rat. And suddenly, suddenly, a golden rain fell on him ... You name his sponsors or you yourself guess? Perhaps you will be wondering how the "artist" got out of the Versailles restrictions? Before "he attacked himself", he was carefully "educated", financed accurately, the goal was indicated. Find 10 differences from the behavior of the West with today's Ukraine. If Stalin would have had the opportunity and just as preventively in the year 1937-39 would have hit Germany, then there would have been no WWII and millions of victims. Putin, as it turned out, taught history... So, yes, it was a different story, but very similar in essence to the scenario.
  3. +1
    April 4 2022 05: 34
    The position of Turkey is interesting. - We do not supply bayraktars, but a private enterprise !!!
    1. +4
      April 4 2022 07: 40
      Well, de jure it is. The Turks give an opportunity to earn their company.
      Nothing personal is just a business.
      1. 0
        April 4 2022 10: 16
        This is not business, but politics. It's time to understand. They play against the Russian Federation, but with such comments they leave themselves the opportunity to receive loans for nuclear power plants and cheap gas. And it works
      2. -5
        April 4 2022 10: 17
        What a damn business if they are inciting Azerbaijan to conquer Karabakh? This is direct aggression.
  4. 0
    April 4 2022 05: 44
    Quote: kytx
    The article is about nothing. Transfusions from empty to empty. Text for the sake of text.

    Well, why ... how the anti-advertising of the almighty Bayraktars will do.
    It's not defenseless Armenians to beat with impunity.
    1. 0
      April 4 2022 10: 13
      Bayraktar is hard to shoot down. Due to its small size, it has little reflection, and it is poorly visible on radars. Why was this not mentioned in the article?
      1. -2
        April 4 2022 11: 09
        Nonsense. It is perfectly visible by locators, especially the meter range from the P-14, 12, 18 and Nebo families.
        1. +1
          April 7 2022 10: 32
          - And how many of them are on each specific battlefield? P-12 and P-18 are relatively weak, P-14 and Sky are huge ... And the radars of the Torah, Pantsir and Buk very often do not have time to see Bayraktar before they amaze...
          1. 0
            April 7 2022 10: 57
            Relatively weak, how is it? 1m2 at a distance of 120 km. are they weak? And the range of use of Bayraktar's weapons, is it relatively strong? Have you seen the video from Buk-3, what is the reconnaissance station there? So do not write nonsense, centimeter ones see your Bayraktars no worse. This is evidenced by the number of those destroyed in Ukraine.
            1. 0
              April 7 2022 11: 45
              Relatively weak, how is it? 1m2 at a distance of 120 km. are they weak?

              - If the "Bayraktar" manages to hit the "Tor" and "Pantsir" before they see and hit it, it means that their radars do not see it at those 8 km for which it is suitable for dropping the bomb.
              What is not clear about this place? This means that it is necessary to install more powerful radars, otherwise this will continue:
              1. +1
                April 7 2022 14: 15
                It is necessary to prepare calculations for combat work, and not to recruit shepherds and other shepherds with 3 classes. Did you yourself sit behind the screen of the indicated radar or Pantsir and see the picture? I highly doubt it. Incl. nothing to post heresy and illiteracy. Almost 40 Bayraktars were landed in Ukraine, and how many Shells and Thors did they destroy? Only without slogans, but with pictures, links, etc.
              2. +1
                April 7 2022 15: 48
                I found it especially for you: I give the link https://t.me/rgsila/3751 Look and explain how Thor removed Bayraktar if he does not see him at 8 km.
  5. -3
    April 4 2022 07: 52
    This is a provocation! Erdogan is a friend of Putin! We, as the richest country in the world, are even building nuclear power plants for the people's money, and he sells drones to Khokhls, and the Turks run them, but it can’t be! What happens, our chief fooled? Did he know who the Turks were? Probably bad history!
    1. 0
      April 4 2022 08: 42
      Diman, do not hysteria! It doesn't suit you!
  6. 0
    April 4 2022 09: 18
    Foreign strike UAVs for Ukraine: "Bayraktars" and a replacement for them

    It's like a dead poultice. It's too late, the game for the air of Ukraine is already done.
    1. 0
      April 7 2022 10: 35
      - It is not clear why, after all the statements, Russian aviation has not yet a) completely destroyed Ukrainian aviation at Ukrainian airfields; b) does not completely dominate the Ukrainian sky?
  7. -2
    April 4 2022 09: 47
    scotry ka. again the entire fleet of drones is destroyed
  8. -4
    April 4 2022 10: 11
    I still cannot understand why Turkey was able to develop an excellent drone. And Russia with its aviation industry - one can say no. There were so many projects, and nothing but Orlan happened
    1. -1
      April 4 2022 11: 03
      You cannot understand because you are completely unaware of the development of the RF UAV area

      And there is nothing directly different in bayraktar, and besides, it is all of imported components
    2. +3
      April 4 2022 11: 29
      why Turkey was able to develop an excellent drone.
      Unlimited access to the market of components and components - buy and build. The drone is primarily electronics and optics. It is difficult to create - but easy to buy.
      1. 0
        April 4 2022 13: 23
        Well, it's easy! Russia is not at all easy, they overlaid like a bear.
      2. 0
        April 5 2022 08: 55
        Exactly. Straight agree
    3. 0
      April 8 2022 08: 54
      Oh, okay, just festival moods, even after Karabakh, only the lazy did not speak on the topic on this site. Drones are garbage, electronic warfare systems land them in hundreds, air defense can shoot them down in thousands, and in general this is only against the Papuans.
    4. 0
      2 July 2022 23: 04
      Only you don't understand. This is a screw assembly. The Turks only make a glider.
  9. +2
    April 4 2022 12: 31
    I wonder if the Bayraktarov launchers were amazed? And can we track them?
    1. -1
      April 4 2022 13: 28
      I understand that by PU you mean "control center", but to be honest, PU is usually used as a "launcher". And this is no longer correct in relation to the "Bayraktar", which takes off on its own
      1. 0
        April 4 2022 20: 33
        Control point ...... You understood correctly.
  10. +1
    April 4 2022 13: 23
    Indeed, there are no exact data on the supply of Bayraktarov UAVs. According to my data until 24.02.2022/2020/2021 in 12-6. 36 units were delivered, incl. 24 in the Navy. 36 "Bayraktarov" should have been produced / assembled in Nikolaev, but I believe that they did not have time to do anything. And after the start of the military special operation, Turkey delivered another 24.02.2022 units. A total of 36 Bayraktars. At the briefing, data were cited that as of February 24, 01.04, there were already 36 of them. I believe that this is not the case. The table mentions the equipment exactly for February 124, there was no point in making an additional column specifically for the Bayraktars delivered later. At the briefing on 01.04. it was announced the destruction of the last XNUMXth "Bayraktar". At the end of March, Turkey sent a new batch of Bayraktars to Ukraine, but Romania and Bulgaria refused to let the Ukrainian An-XNUMX pass and he had to land in Poland. It is possible that already after XNUMX these UAVs can carry out raids.
    The United States planned to deliver and may have already delivered 100 Switchblade 600 loitering ammunition and another Switchblade 300. Also delivered 24 RQ-11B Raven UAVs (small hand-launched scouts)
    1. 0
      April 5 2022 09: 00
      There the devil will break his leg. How many were shipped, how many were able to lift into the air by bz.
      How many failed.
      And what exactly was it bayraktar?
      No one has the information
  11. +1
    April 4 2022 14: 05
    Here it is necessary to consider the question rather about the massive use of the ZALA Lancet. Where you can see it, this is just a weapon of urban combat.
  12. +5
    April 4 2022 14: 50
    After a month with extra fighting, cheers, the patriotic mood of the article is simply amazing. Especially the statement that all the bayraktars were shot down and where the new ones came from is not clear.
    Do you remember how, before the hostilities, they said that bayraktara is garbage and that their control functions would be immediately destroyed?
    it turned out that it was not garbage And that the command posts were not destroyed and that the bayraktars were still in the air on the 39th day of the special operation. In the same way, there are a huge number of other Ukrainian drones in the air, especially of a tactical level, which hang over our troops and correct the fire of enemy artillery.
  13. 0
    April 5 2022 18: 00
    The main victory will be if we manage to remove the political influence of the West in Russia. Don't miss the moment!!
  14. -1
    April 5 2022 21: 59
    Now it is clear that the constant destruction of UAVs in the briefings of the Ministry of Defense, the number of which is slightly more than those available. Although the BMP-1 and T-72 are already on their way. Without closing the borders with the west and the sea, this will continue for a long time.
  15. 0
    April 7 2022 10: 37
    Quote from trentren
    I still cannot understand why Turkey was able to develop an excellent drone.

    - Israel helped the Turks in military developments for many years, until in the last 10 years Sultan Erdogan did not get ugly at all. Military-technological cooperation has ceased, but Turkish engineers still have good groundwork ...
    And Russia with its aviation industry - one can say no. There were so many projects, and nothing but Orlan happened

    - It was not necessary to expel all the Jews from Russia "to their Israel" ... laughing lol
  16. 0
    April 7 2022 10: 41
    Quote: Zaurbek
    I wonder if the Bayraktarov launchers were amazed? And can we track them?

    - Roll the house on wheels to another place and disguise it - "just spit"! Fig you will find...
  17. -1
    April 7 2022 19: 21
    Quote: gjkrjdybr50
    It is necessary to prepare calculations for combat work, and not to recruit shepherds and other shepherds with 3 classes.

    In Nagorno-Karabakh, were shepherds sitting at the air defense systems? fool
    Did you yourself sit behind the screen of the indicated radar or Pantsir and see the picture? I highly doubt it.

    - I sat behind the screens of various surveillance radars.
    Incl. nothing to post heresy and illiteracy.

    - Your thesis about "shepherds at the consoles of" Thors "- is heresy and illiteracy.
    Almost 40 Bayraktars landed in Ukraine

    - Did you see it yourself? All 40??
    , and how many Shells and Thors did they destroy? Only without slogans, but with pictures, links, etc.

    - I brought you a video where, for 1 hour 41 minutes, "Bayraktars" destroy HUNDREDS of targets covered by Russian air defense systems. Not in the eyes, right?
  18. 0
    20 May 2022 16: 01
    Quote: Civil
    1. It will be necessary for the Americans - they will quickly put it, as in the Iran-Contra case.
    2. They will not help to make the Nazis win or lose, they will help exactly to the extent that the conflict does not stop.
    Heavy drones will not be given unambiguously. For the simple reason that ours will shoot down / land a few pieces and get their hands on samples of modern American technology. And this is what staffers fear the most