Slovakia discusses Turkish Bayraktar TB2 armed drone order

The Minister of Defense of the Republic of Slovakia Jaro Nad met with Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of the Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar, to discuss the potential acquisition of a number of TB2 armed drones. 

The Slovak armed forces already operate a number of small observation drones, notably five Skylark drones from the Israeli manufacturer Elbit. But the acquisition of armed drones would be a significant capacity leap for the country.  

Currently, the only air combat capability of the Slovak Air Force comes from 11 MiG-29 fighters upgraded to operate alongside NATO allies. The country is also expecting 14 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons ordered in 2018 for around $1.6 billion. Their delivery is expected by 2024. 

After years of quasi-monopoly of the US-based manufacturer General Atomics and its Reaper and Predator armed drones, the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 effectively disrupted the market, illustrating itself during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war and the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia. In both cases, it proves itself as an attritable solution to destroy more critical assets, such as armored vehicles, anti-aircraft systems, or even tanks.  


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