Turkish defense firm and drone maker Baykar has donated three Bayraktar TB2 drones to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. A crowdfunding project was initially going to buy these crewless aerial vehicles (UAVs). However, in the spirit of camaraderie, they decided to give the three drones free.

Serhiy Prytula initiated the Ukrainian crowdfunding project. Hetitled “The People’s Bayraktar.” As a result, Hed and the Ukrainian people have raised $20 million in crowdfunded cash to avail drones from Baykar. However, the Turkish firm had other ideas.

As Prytula announced via Twitter that they had successfully raised the $20 million necessary to purchase four Bayraktar TB2s in less than three days, the Turkish firm announced on Twitter last June 28 that they were aware of the crowdfunding campaign for their UAVs. In the announcement, they stated that they will not be accepting any payment for the TB2s and will be sending the drones free of charge to the Ukrainian frontlines.

“Baykar has been informed that a crowdfunding campaign dubbed the ‘The People’s Bayraktar’ was successful in raising funds to buy several Bayraktar TB2 UAVs for Ukrainians to use in defense of their Homeland,” the statement read.

“Baykar will not accept payment for the TB2s, and will send three UAVs free of charge to the Ukrainian war front,” they added, requesting that the money raised from the crowdfunding be “remitted” to the “struggling people of Ukraine,” which indicates that they want the money to be used for humanitarian purposes.

“We are touched by their solidarity and resolve in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. Baykar prays for a just resolution and lasting peace.”

Baykar manufactures four types of these drones, so it is unclear what variant it is sending to Ukraine, but the important thing is that Baykar is sending the drones for the Ukrainians’ use.

Baykar’s History of Supporting Ukraine

This is not the first time Baykar donated their famed Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine. SOFREP reported last May that Lithuania also had a similar crowdfunding effort to donate a couple of Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine.

Laisveves TV founder and journalist Andrius Tapinas said Lithuanians would not stand and watch. At the same time, Europe was unwilling to help Ukraine obtain the heavy weapons needed to fend off the Russian forces. As a result, Lithuanians managed to raise over $5.4 million, with Lithuanians chipping in small amounts of cash to fund the project. They had $3.2 million within three days and would complete the full payment a few days later. 

Ukraine’s official Twitter account expressed gratitude via a tweet thanking the country for its undying support.

“Simply wow, @Lithuania 💛💚❤️ We will never forget what you did for us on so many fronts. Ačiū to every Lithuanian who donated, your present will be put to good use 😎,” Ukraine stated.

“This is the first case in history when ordinary people raise money to buy something like a Bayraktar. It is unprecedented, it is unbelievable,” Ukrainian Ambassador to Lithuania Beshta Petro said.

Bayraktar TB2 Drones: A Legendary Weapon in Ukraine

The Bayraktar TB2 drone has been one of Ukraine’s most revered weapons since the invasion started last February 24. The weapon, which has since obtained a cult following in Ukraine, is praised for its effectiveness against Russian troops and armored vehicles, garnering the same revered status as US-donated Javelins and British NLAWs.

The Russian forces’ ill capacity to take control over the skies and have air superiority over Ukraine has been one of the Achilles heels that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been exploiting. Without air dominance, Ukraine can fly its drones up deep into enemy-controlled territories and blast Russian forces to smithereens without knowing what hit them. Through this practical usage of armed drones, the Bayraktar TB2 has been gaining enormous popularity worldwide, especially in the increasing drone warfare changing the landscape of combat. Furthermore, these drones can avoid detection by Russian modern SAMs, which enables the drones to destroy these vital Russian weapons.

The Bayraktar TB2 drones and Ukrainian elite drone unit Aerorozvidka’s custom-made drones attacked the infamous 40-mile Russian convoy headed to Kyiv. These special forces attacked the convoy during nighttime when the Russians’ guards were down, and they had nowhere to go as they had no fuel to move. So these Ukrainian forces would use TB2 drones along with Javelins and NLAWs to attack the convoy and quickly retreat with their quad bikes after destroying their targets.

These weapons have been so effective that the Ukrainians have made a song about the Bayraktar TB2 drone, which pokes fun at the Russians’ lousy performance in Ukraine while lifting the spirits of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

With these new donations of Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be using them to their maximum potential in the east as the Russian forces try to take the eastern city of Lysychansk after it had taken control of Severodonetsk.