Selçuk Bayraktar, the Turkish Elon Musk behind the killer drones in the Ukrainian sky

Baykar’s first drone, a hand-launched mini-craft weighing 10 kg and released in 2006, flew only about three meters. Baykar has refined his design, pushing this device to fly for more than an hour. The company’s potential was there, Selçuk pushing even the tests on the grounds in war, to be sure of the effectiveness of its tools.

Whether in the internal borders of Turkey, in the Caucasus or in Libya, Baykar takes advantage of armed conflicts to improve its drones in real conditions.

The “Bayraktar TB2”, bird of bad omen for the Russians

As early as 2014, Bayraktar began developing a larger drone, resulting in a prototype of the TB2, a twin-engine propeller aircraft large enough to carry missiles capable of accurately hitting a target of just a few square meters from eight kilometers away. This unmanned aerial vehicle can reach altitudes of up to 13.75 km (45,118 ft) and fly nearly 24 hours without the need for refueling.

The benefits that the Ukrainian forces manage to derive from TB2 in the field are significantly higher than the cost of using these machines. It is the ideal instrument in defense.

In 2019, Ukraine buys a fleet of at least six TB2s for 69 million dollars, a ridiculous price compared to other American or French drones as explained Alain De Neve, researcher at the Royal Higher Institute for Defense (IRSD): “These are inexpensive drones (between 1 and 2 million dollars per piece, or even more depending on the options, editor’s note.) and the benefits that the Ukrainian forces manage to derive from them on the ground are significantly greater than the cost of using these devices. It is the ideal instrument in defense“, explains the expert.

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