Ukraine, an army that uses Turkish combat drones against pro-Russian separatists, plans to build a plant to produce such drones on its territory.
“A site has been chosen for the construction of this plant,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told a news conference with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Lviv.
“There were a number of obstacles to the implementation of (this project), but they were removed,” he added, without giving details.
The Turkish Foreign Minister did not elaborate on this issue, but stressed that Kyiv and Ankara are “on the way to strengthening relations in many sectors,” citing the defense sector.
In late September, Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran and Khalyuk Bayraktar, CEO of Baykar, a company that makes Bayraktar drones, signed a memorandum in Kyiv to build a maintenance center for these drones, which will also serve as a training center for operators.
“This is an important moment for us,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the signing of the contract.
Baikar “will build this center near the city of Vasylkiv near Kyiv, where the Ukrainian Air Force brigade is stationed.
Ukraine already uses Bayraktar TeBe2 drones. This model has been used in the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh. According to media reports, Kyiv plans to purchase a total of about fifty drones of this type.
Turkey has been working for several years to establish itself as an important factor in the club of countries that produce combat drones. However, the sale of drones to Kyiv puts Ankara in a delicate situation vis-à-vis Moscow, with which Turkey also cooperates in the defense sector.