Sorting by


Ukraine may soon have combat drones that fire cruise missiles and ‘bunker-buster’ bombs

Ukraine could soon have access to new combat drones with a range of around 5,000 miles, capable of firing cruise missiles and “bunker-buster” bombs.

Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of Turkish drone specialist Baykar, said the Bayraktar Akinci model could soon be produced in Ukraine.

The Akinci, which has a wingspan of 20 metres, is said to have a top speed of more than 200mph. It is compatible with several types of air-to-surface cruise missiles such as the SOM, which has a similar range to the British Storm Shadow at around 150 miles.

The drone can also deploy air-to-air missiles and laser-guided “bunker-buster” bombs.

“We have permission for this from our government, which shows how close we are to implementation,” Mr Bayraktar told Radio Free Europe in Kyiv at a defence industry forum where he also met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Baykar is already supplying the Bayraktar TB2 model to Ukraine, which proved effective in the early months of the war and even inspired a song. Mr Bayraktar said the company was developing facilities to build drones in Ukraine with an investment of more than £80m.

“We have started the construction process… everything is moving forward,” he said.

This plant could produce the new Bayraktar Akinci, which is larger and can operate a wider range of weapons than the TB2.

The Turkish government has not yet commented on Mr Bayraktar’s claim.

Ukraine has repeatedly appealed for more long-range missiles.

The UK and France agreed to supply Storm Shadow and Scalp missiles respectively, which have since been used effectively against Russian targets including the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.

The US is expected to follow suit by supplying Atacms missiles.

Turkey is one of few countries to have maintained relations with both Russia and Ukraine, and brokered short-lived peace talks in spring 2022, although it has allowed Turkish arms companies such as Baykar to deal with Kyiv.

This neutrality could be threatened if and when Baykar production facilities open in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in August that any such plant would be subject to “immediate demilitarisation”.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button