Turkish drone maker Baykar “dominates” the software of its technology, the company’s CTO said
Türkiye’s defense company Baykar has allayed concerns that, as it ramps up exports, its attack drones could one day be used against Ankara. enemy.
In an interview with TV100 earlier this week, Baykar chairman and chief technology officer, Selcuk Bayraktar, explained that the company primarily sells combat drones only to countries that “close relations” or a “strategic cooperation” with Türkiye, and therefore not “expect” a stab in the back.
“You also know that these are high-tech devices, and you equip high-tech devices with software. Only those who develop that technology dominate the software.” he added, without elaborating.
Baykar has also taken steps to prevent hackers from taking over and wreaking havoc with its UAVs, the CTO explains. “Of course we have special measures regarding information security”, Bayraktar told host Candas Tolga Isik. “Now you know that states are also being hacked in this era. We are taking special measures against all of these, and this is also a race.”
The drone maker was thrust into the global spotlight after Azerbaijan deployed its Bayraktar TB2s with great success against Armenia in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The flagship UAV is already being sold to more than a dozen countries, with Baykar’s exports rose 78% last year to $1.18 billion. At the same time, the company ensures that Türkiye’s military gets UAVs at a third of the prices it charges abroad, Bayraktar said.
Ukraine also bought dozens of TB2 attack drones even before the conflict with Russia began last February, with officials in Kiev claiming the weapons would give them a battlefield edge against the Donbass regions. Over the past year, Kiev has reportedly received an undetermined number of additional drones, despite Türkiye’s official neutrality on the conflict.
Since Russia began its military operation, most of Ukraine’s fleet of TB2s has been destroyed, the Russian Defense Ministry claims. In an October joke, a Ukrainian official described them as “primarily a PR project” and said “They were all shot within a week.”
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