Albania will purchase military drones for 8.2 million euros from Turkish company Baykar Defense which continues to draw attention with its world-renowned Bayraktar TB2 (Tactical Block 2) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) as it continuously adds new countries to its customer list.
Albania is the latest customer interested in striking a deal to procure this particular combat drone, which is already owned by Azerbaijan, Qatar, Ukraine and will be delivered to Poland under a recently inked deal.
Albania’s interest in acquiring the Bayraktar TB2s became official after the country’s parliament allocated an additional budget of more than 8 million euros for such procurement.
The approval came after Albanian Interior Minister Bledar Çuçi and military officials paid a visit to Turkey.
After visiting the Bayraktar production facility in Istanbul, Çuçi signaled that his country would likely purchase the drone. “We are evaluating the possibility of using Turkish UCAVs for civilian and military purposes in Albania,” he said.
Earlier this month, Çuçi released a video of his meeting with company representatives and visit to its factory.
Last year, Albania became the first purchaser of an anti-drone system developed by a Turkish defense firm – the National War Technologies Defense Systems Inc.
The combat drone has been operated by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in Syria and Libya in various roles, from neutralizing enemy air defense systems or securing airports along with its being used by Azerbaijan’s army in delivering a heavy blow to Armenian occupying forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Among the countries using Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs, Poland’s interest was particularly important since it became the first NATO member state to commit to purchasing the Turkish drones.
The Bayraktar – with its electronic, software, aerodynamic, design and sub-main systems fully designed and developed nationally – stands out among the world's most advanced UAV systems in its class with its flight automation and performance.
The drone, which can operate day and night, has a record altitude of 8.24 kilometers for over 24 hours in the air and can carry 150 kilograms of payload. / argumentum.al