‘Baykar’ investment in Ukraine
Turkish defense industry company Baykar Technology General Manager Haluk Bayraktar spoke to the British news agency Reuters. Bayraktar said that the Bayraktar factory to be built in Ukraine could be completed within 2 years, despite the war conditions.
Haluk Bayraktar, General Manager of the Turkish defense company Baykar Teknoloji, announced that Baykar’s factory in Ukraine is targeted to be completed within 2 years:
“Currently, the architectural design and detailed design phase has been completed. We will continue with the construction, but due to the current conditions we are in, of course it could be within two years, we want to finish it within two years.”
Bayraktar spoke to the British news agency Reutes.
Before the outbreak of the war on February 24, Baykar had taken action to build a facility to produce Bayraktar TB2s in Ukraine.
Haluk Bayraktar said that there have been setbacks due to the ongoing war with Russia, but progress has been made in the construction of the facility.
Bayraktar TB2, which has influenced the course of the war in many conflict zones, especially in Syria, Libya and Karabakh, has brought Baykar into the global spotlight.
To date, Bayraktar UCAVs have been sold to 24 countries.
While the Turkish defense industry is meeting its own needs in unmanned aerial vehicle technology, it is also exporting it. The number of countries to which Bayraktar TB2, produced with domestic and national facilities, is exported has increased to 24.
The number of countries to which Baykar, the unmanned aerial vehicles manufacturer of the Turkish defense industry, exports Bayraktar TB2 has increased to 24, and the share of exports in the company’s 2022 revenues reached 98 percent.
Organized by the Turkish Technology Team Foundation (T3 Foundation) and the Ministry of Industry and Technology, TEKNOFEST KARADENİZ, of which TRT is the communication sponsor, took place at Samsun Çarşamba Airport.
Baykar General Manager Haluk Bayraktar said at the event that TEKNOFEST is the “festival of records” and that it grows exponentially every year.
Pointing out that the nation’s interest in the festival is very intense, Bayraktar said that as a company, they exhibited their products for the first time at TEKNOFEST.
Bayraktar said the following:
“We exhibited Bayraktar Akıncı at TEKNOFEST 2019, and now it is in the inventory. It was the same with Bayraktar TB2 before. Now we are exhibiting Bayraktar Kızılelma for the first time in Samsun within the scope of TEKNOFEST. Turkey is no longer dependent on others in unmanned aerial vehicle technology; it has become able to meet its own needs and is also exporting it. Turkey’s defense industry has been growing by 15 percent every year in real terms in recent years. Bayraktar TB2 has become a sought-after product all over the world. An export agreement was signed with 24 countries for Bayraktar TB2. This is a very big event. In 4 years, Bayraktar TB2 has become the armed unmanned aerial vehicle system exported to the most countries in the world. Bayraktar Akıncı has just entered the inventory, export contracts have been signed with four countries, and it is going very fast.”
Emphasizing that Baykar has invested heavily, Haluk Bayraktar said that Bayraktar Kızılelma was developed entirely with the company’s own resources. Emphasizing that the company has not used a single penny of credit in its operations to date, Bayraktar said that Baykar is a company that develops products by earning, develops and grows by earning and investing, and progresses on its own scale.
“There is a huge demand”
Haluk Bayraktar stated that more than 400 Bayraktar TB2s and around 20 Bayraktar Akıncıs have been produced to date, and said:
“Currently, our annual capacity is 200 units for Bayraktar TB2. Next year, we plan to produce 500 units of Bayraktar TB2 and 40 units of Bayraktar Akıncı. We are trying to increase production capacities by making very large investments every year. We have the needs of our country, but especially recently, there has been a great demand for exports. For example, 98 percent of our sales in 2022 will be exports. In 2021, Baykar became the largest exporter in the defence and aerospace sector with a single product, Bayraktar TB2. This is a pride for our country and us. We want to continue this pace and momentum. Thirteen years ago, Turkey could not even afford to buy this technology. Now Turkey is one of the few countries in the world with this technology. It is a country that has proven itself at the highest level and has become the biggest exporter. This means that if we trust the people of our own country, our own brain capital, if we can protect the climate that has been created, the will that has been formed in the last 15 years, especially in the field of defense and aviation, if this nation embraces this, I think that things will continue and nothing can stop it.”
“We cannot wait for many years”
In response to a question about Baykar’s product development speed, Haluk Bayraktar made the following assessment:
“Baykar has a goal, and its name is Kızılelma. What is the Red Crescent? It is the goal that Turkey has always set in its history. We have set a goal and we want to realize it as soon as possible. Baykar is a young team, with an average age of 29. The number of our R&D personnel is 2,700. 800 more people joined Baykar this year. This year, 1,200 young interns worked with us. We attach importance to our young people. TEKNOFEST is an indicator of the importance we attach to our young people, because they are our future. We want our young people to take ownership of these works and advance them. You see the developments in the world, we cannot wait for many years. We need to have these technologies as soon as possible. In this sense, we are making our best efforts.”
“Kızılelma will take Turkey to a new league”
Emphasizing that Kızılelma will carry Turkey to a much different league, Bayraktar said: “Turkey is a great power in its region and a country that is making global projections. Kızılelma will make a great contribution to this. It will carry us to a very important league, especially with its artificial intelligence technology and air-to-air capabilities.”