Turkey inks $321 million deal with Romania for Bayraktar military drones

Ukraine has had considerable success using the drone against Russia since Moscow’s invasion last year.

Turkey and Romania have signed a multimillion dollar deal to sell Bucharest 18 Bayraktar TB2 drones. The deal further cements Turkey’s military relations with eastern Europe amid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Turkey’s ambassador to Romania, Ozgur Kivanc Altan, announced the news on Twitter. Altan said the sale is a sign of Turkey’s “strategic partnership with Romania.”

The Turkish company Baykar, which manufactures the Bayraktar TB2 drones, said on Tuesday that it signed a $321 million deal with Romania’s Ministry of Defense to supply the unmanned aerial vehicles. Romania first announced its intent to purchase the drones in August of last year.

Baykar is co-run by Selcuk Bayraktar, one of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s sons-in-law.

Why it matters: Ukraine is using the Bayraktar TB2 drone against invading Russian forces. Ukrainian forces have successfully used the drone to destroy Russian air defense systems, supply convoys and more. Ukraine’s use of the drone has angered Russian President Vladimir Putin, Fehim Tastekin wrote for Al-Monitor in February.

Like Ukraine, Romania is a former member of the Soviet Union that has pivoted towards the West in recent decades. Romania is a member of the NATO alliance along with Turkey.

Romania and Ukraine are not the only former Soviet states to acquire the drones. Kyrgyzstan also acquired the Bayraktar TB2 in 2022.

Know more: On Tuesday, Baykar CEO Haluk Bayraktar was awarded a state medal from Burkina Faso. President Ibrahim Traore awarded the Ordre de L’etalon Officier for Baykar’s contributions to Burkina Faso’s security, Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency reported.

Baykar has several customers in Africa, including Ethiopia, Morocco, Tunisia, and Togo.

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