Ukraine set to receive first crowdfunded Bayraktar drone

A Bayraktar TB2 drone, which was crowdfunded by the Lithuanian public, has been delivered to Lithuania and will be on its way to Ukraine as soon as the appropriate paperwork is completed. 

According to Lithuanian influencer Andrius Tapinas, who organized the crowdfunding campaign, the aircraft will be presented to the public on July 6. 

He also shared a photograph of the aircraft and its distinctive livery in what appears to be the hold of the Alenia C-27J Spartan cargo plane, which could possibly belong to the Lithuanian Air Force. 

In late July, Tapinas’ media channel Laisves TV started a campaign to raise funds to buy a Bayraktar TB2 combat drone for the Ukrainian armed forces. The campaign raised €5.9 million in just four days.  

When the campaign was over, Turkish manufacturer Baykar said it would give the aircraft free of charge with the condition that a portion of the money raised would be used to provide humanitarian aid for Ukraine. 

The successful campaign was followed up by several others. In June Ukrainian volunteer and influencer Serhiy Prytula started his own crowdfunding effort dubbed ‘The People’s Bayraktar. He collected 600 million UAH (more than $20 million), $3 million more than the intended goal.  

Baykar also said it would donate three TB2s free of charge. 

This has led to several other crowdfunding campaigns to purchase Bayraktars, including one started by Polish journalist Slawomir Serakowski and another conducted by Belarusian exiles living in Poland.  

In addition, in late June the Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that the entire production capacity of Baykar will be devoted to supplying Ukrainian Armed Forces, providing the country with “dozens” of the aircraft in July 2022.  

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