Albania Orders Three Bayraktar TB2 Combat Drones From Turkey
The Albanian government has inked a deal with Turkish defense firm Baykar to acquire three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Under the agreement, Baykar will deliver TB2 armed drones to the Balkan nation, bolstering the modernization efforts of the country’s armed forces in 2023.
“The initial three drones will be armed and ready for combat and for use in any possible case that I hope will never be the case,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said.
“So I hope that our national security is never under threat, but in such a scenario we will be ready for combat.”
The procurement makes Albania the second NATO country to purchase Turkish-made UAVs after Poland bought 24 Bayraktar TB3 drones in May last year.
The 6.5-meter (21 feet) Bayraktar TB2 is a medium altitude, long endurance tactical UAV that can perform various attack operations as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
The drone can fly for a maximum of 27 hours at a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters).
Designed as a multi-purpose aerial vehicle, TB2 is capable of eliminating targets through its payload of four laser-guided smart ammunitions.
“The Turkish Bayraktar has emerged as one of the most well-known drones in the world, equipped with the highest state-of-the-art technology to deliver on military, police and civil missions,” Rama said.
“They will be armed and ready for combat [and] will help authorities in a number of areas, including monitoring the country’s territory, the fight against illicit cannabis cultivation, territorial protection and collection of geospatial data.”
The drone also features a Baykar real time imagery transmission system that provides high-resolution, non-delay live broadcasts for multiple users simultaneously.
Success on the Battlefield
The Turkish drone recently earned recognition following its critical role in conflicts, particularly in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war.
In the first few weeks of Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian TB2s destroyed Moscow’s artillery systems and armored vehicles.
“Bayraktar TB2 is doing what it was supposed to do – taking out some of the most advanced anti-aircraft systems and advanced artillery systems and armored vehicles,” Baykar’s Chief Technology Officer Selçuk Bayraktar told Reuters in May.
With Albania’s purchase, the Istanbul-based firm has now exported its drones to 27 countries including Qatar, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan.