Demand is so high for the legendary Bayraktar drones used to defend against Russia's Ukraine invasion that their Turkish maker has a 3-year waitlist

A B-model of Bayraktar AKINCI TİHA in Corlu, Turkey.Baykar Press Office/dia Images via Getty Images
Baykar, the Turkish company behind Bayraktar drones, is three years behind, its boss said.
The drones achieved legendary status in Ukraine after being used to destroy Russian tanks early in the invasion.
The company last year agreed to build a new manufacturing base in Ukraine ahead of the invasion.
A Turkish drone maker, which has supplied unmanned aerial vehicles used by Ukraine in defense against Russian invasion, says demand has grown so much that there is a three-year waiting list.
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Haluk Bayraktar, the CEO of Turkish defense company Baykar, said in an interview with Ukraine's Come Back Alive Foundation that the company currently has the production capacity to build twenty of its Bayraktar TB2 drones per month, but with a new facility Ukraine wants to increase, the construction of which was agreed last year.
"We see Ukraine as our strategic partner," Bayraktar said, adding that the company has already started building the Ukrainian factory.
"We as Baykar started by building a factory in Ukraine, a research center and a manufacturing excellence center where we wanted to build all the systems," he said.
Bayraktar told the Come Back Alive Foundation that increasing demand for the company's UAVs meant they've been "booked for about 3 years".
"As these systems prove themselves in the field, more and more countries are interested in them," he said.
Baykar officials did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the plans.
Baykar's drones, particularly the famous Bayraktar TB2 drones, have achieved legendary status in Ukraine after being used to destroy large numbers of Russian vehicles early in the campaign. Her popularity even inspired a viral folk song.
Bayraktar TB2s played a prominent role in Ukraine's early efforts to defend itself against Russia, and were credited with destroying invading Russian tanks and armored vehicles.
Baykar told the foundation that he would like the Ukraine factory to produce these drones along with his other models - the Bayraktar Akıncı and the Bayraktar Kizilelma.
In June, the company donated three Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine after turning down $20 million in crowdfunding. The company, in a statement shared on Twitter, demanded that the funds be redirected to the "fighting people of Ukraine."
Although they were a key part of Ukraine's early military response to Russia, experts told Insider that Turkey's drones are becoming less effective as Russian forces bolster their air defenses and electronic warfare.
Read the original article on Business Insider

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