Romania wants to buy Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) from Türkiye after it gained popularity for causing loss to the Russian military gear in the war in Ukraine, following several examples elsewhere, the local media reported Thursday.
According to media reports, the country wants about 18 such UCAVs at an estimated price of $300 million.
The Romanian Ministry of Defense has sent a request to Parliament for such purpose, the reports said and if it receives legislative approval, it will be able to start negotiations with the Turkish company – Baykar.
Currently, Romania does not have state-of-the-art combat drones in its inventory.
The estimated amount for sale includes the purchase of the 18 drones and "the initial logistical support package and specific training and training equipment," according to the Ministry of Defense.
The price of Bayraktar TB2 drones varies depending on the equipment, starting from $1 million to $5 million, according to open sources specializing in defense products.
Baykar did not specify a price for this particular drone model but republished on its website news about crowdfunding campaigns launched across Europe to buy Bayraktar drones for Ukraine, with a goal of about $5 million-$5.5 million for a drone.
The Bayraktar TB2 has a reputation as being the best in its class in the world based on its technical features and the operations it has been used in, entering the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in 2014.
Export contracts were signed with 23 countries, including Ukraine, Qatar, Azerbaijan and Poland. Having exported $664 million in combat drone systems in 2021, Baykar became the leading exporter among companies in the field of defense and aerospace, according to the data by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).
Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs proved effective on the battlefield after they were used by the Turkish army in Syria against Russia-backed regime forces and by Azerbaijan in recapturing its territories from occupying Armenian forces in Karabakh.
They are currently actively used by the Ukrainian army for defense purposes in the ongoing war with Russia, playing an important role in destroying Russian military gear from howitzers and tanks to air defense systems and marine platforms.
Aid campaigns were organized by the public in Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Norway and Canada to buy Bayraktar TB2s and donate them to the Ukrainian army. Baykar did not accept the donations collected from the campaigns organized in Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland and instead used the funds to help the Ukrainian people meet their humanitarian needs, giving the drones to Ukraine free of charge.