Baykar starts building drone factory in Ukraine

Turkish company Baykar has started building a drone factory near the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, says its CEO Haluk Bayraktar.

Baykar's TB2 or TB3 drone models will be produced at the plant, which will create jobs for 500 people, Bayraktar said, speaking at the World World Defense Show in Saudi Arabia's Riyadh.

The construction of the factory will be completed in 12 months, according to the company executive.

To date, Baykar has inked export deals for its TB2 drone with 30 countries, including Ukraine, Ethiopia, Libya and Azerbaijan, Bayraktar added.

The plant will have an annual capacity to manufacture 120 drones, but it is not yet decided whether production would focus on TB2 or TB3 models, he said.

The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia will not impact the construction of the plant, Bayraktar said.

Baykar manufactured 230 TB2 model drones last year and the production will be around the same level in 2024, according to Bayraktar.

"Some 36 Akıncı model drones were produced in 2023. We aim to double the production of this model this year, while rapidly increasing the production of new models of Kızılelma and TB3 unmanned aerial vehicles."

Baykar was the top exporter in the Turkish defense and aerospace industry in 2021 and 2022, according to the data from the Turkish Exporters' Assembly.

The company exporters 99.3 percent of its products in 2022, generating $1.18 billion in export revenues. Baykar's total arms revenues climbed to $1.41 billion.

Baykar made it to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's (SIPRI) Top 100 list for 2022, ranking 76th.

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