Creating new perspectives since 2009

Kuwait signs $370m deal to buy Turkish Bayraktar drones

January 19, 2023 at 4:27 pm

7 Bayraktar Akinci unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), are brought together as a fleet at Flight Training and Test Center in Istanbul, Turkiye on July 05, 2022. [BAYKAR – Anadolu Agency]

Kuwait has signed a deal to purchase Turkish Bayraktar combat drones, making it the latest country to buy the sought-after unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

In a tweet yesterday, the Turkish arms manufacturer, Baykar, announced that it had secured the $370 million deal with Kuwait’s Ministry of Defence to provide it with its Bayraktar TB2 drones. It added that, in conducting and finalising the deal, the company prioritised Kuwait and “left behind companies from America, Europe and China”.

Details surrounding the deal were not revealed and the number of UAVs sold was not announced but, according to the London-based news outlet, Middle East Eye, a source familiar with the deal told it that Kuwait will receive 18 of the drones.

The outlet also reported that an industry insider revealed that each Bayraktar TB2 sells for around $5 million, with each requiring 100 MAM-L smart micro munitions, making the overall price $15 million for one. There are also additional costs to factor in, such as for training and command-and-control centres for the UAVs.

Over the past few years, Bayraktar TB2 drones have gained worldwide popularity through their effectiveness in a number of conflicts, including over the skies of Libya, Syria, Nagorno-Karabakh and, most recently, Ukraine.

It has given Turkiye significant presence in the field of drone-manufacture, with 28 countries, so far, using the combat UAV and many more states and companies attempting to pursue deals with Baykar.

READ: Why Africa needs Turkish drones