Turkish drone powerhouse to complete Ukraine plant in two years - CEO

Turkish defence company Baykar is set to complete the construction of its manufacturing plant in Ukraine in two years, the drone maker’s CEO said on Friday.

Plans for the plant are moving ahead despite “some obstacles” created by Russia's invasion, Haluk Bayraktar told Reuters on the sidelines of the SAHA defence expo in Istanbul.

Specializing in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV),  Baykar’s TB2 drone has received worldwide attention for its role in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and more recently in Ukraine.

The company has received procurement requests for Bayraktar TB2 combat drones from dozens of countries, including European and East Asian nations, the Eurasian time reported.

Run by Selçuk Bayraktar, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, Baykar agreed to build its second manufacturing plant in Ukraine as part of an agreement between Turkey and Ukraine, signed just before Russia's Feb. 24 invasion.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov in June said that Ukraine had received 50 UAVs from Baykar since Russia’s February 24 invasion.

"Right now we have architectural design. The detailed design phase is finished. And we will move ahead with construction actually ... within two years we would like to finish it," Haluk Bayraktar told Reuters.

Last year, Baykar made up a fifth of Turkey's $3.2 billion in defence exports, according to data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM).

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