The Romanian Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with the Turkish manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) Baykar Makina for the purchase of Bayraktar TB2 drones. The contract amount was $321 million, according to the official website of Baykar.
The general manager of the Turkish defense firm, Haluk Bayraktar, also confirmed the information about the contract, specifying: Romania, “has a long friendship and strong ties [with Turkey] based on mutual trust”, joined the list of countries that have adopted the high-tech Bayraktar TB2 UAV.
According to Bayraktar, 28 countries have already signed export contracts for the purchase of the TB2 drone. The official notice of the contract award was published on the website of Tenders Electronic Daily, the online version of the supplement to the official journal of the EU.
In August 2022, the Romanian Ministry of Defense announced its intention to purchase three sets of TB2 drones from Baykar Makina for about $300 million and was awaiting parliamentary approval. “The purchased UAV systems will be intended for the ground forces of Romania. Each system includes six aerial platforms with the ability to engage targets (18 drones in total). The program also includes the purchase of an initial logistical support package, necessary training and equipment,” the Romanian ministry said in an August statement.
Second EU country with Turkish drones
The UAVs should be delivered to the city of Timisoara, where the 93rd air base of the Romanian Air Force is located – the Soviet MiG-23s were stationed there before being decommissioned. After receiving the Turkish TB2 drones, Romania will become the second EU country after Poland to operate this type of UAV and the third European NATO member to order these drones.
The Romanian army has not yet had modern UAVs in service. The purchase of Turkish drones is part of the concept of transforming the Romanian army until 2040.
Bucharest’s goal is to equip the country’s armed forces with new military equipment that provides enhanced situational awareness and increased firepower.
As Bloomberg previously reported , Romania intends to increase its defense budget to 2.5% of GDP in 2023. The country spent about $6 billion on defense last year. Earlier this month, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said Bucharest was also considering buying American F-35s to modernize its air force.
The price of Bayraktar TB2 drones varies depending on the equipment and ranges from $1 million to $5 million, according to open sources specializing in defense products.
The Bayraktar TB2 has a reputation as the world’s best-in-class UAV due to its performance and the operations in which it has been used. These drones entered service with the Turkish Armed Forces in 2014. TB2s have proven their effectiveness on the battlefield in Syria, Libya, and also during the 44-day war in Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Source : trtrussian.com