Russia deals blow to Turkish defense industry with destruction of 100+ UAVs in Ukraine

According to a statement by a high-ranking Russian military official, Russian forces have reportedly succeeded in downing over 100 Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles that Ukraine had procured from Turkey, during the course of the ongoing hostilities that have lasted for more than a year.

On April 9, Deputy Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Andrei Demin, stated that there is no difference between intercepting US strategic unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) RQ-4 Global Hawk, MQ-9 Reaper, and tactical aircraft such as the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2, as well as manned aircraft. General Demin pointed out that over 100 Bayraktar drones, given to Ukraine, have been shot down by Russian forces.

Furthermore, Demin referred to the recent crash of a US MQ-9 drone over the Black Sea, stating that it crashed on its own after losing control during a sharp turn. He emphasized that this incident is embarrassing for the Western world and highlights that modern Russian air defense systems are not challenged by such aerial targets.

Ukraine has employed a range of lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), notably the Bayraktar TB2, in its efforts to counter the Russian military campaign. The TB2 has a factory price of between one and two million dollars per unit, while a complete system including the control station costs five million dollars.

The TB2 aircraft measures 6.5 meters in length, has a 12-meter wingspan, and a maximum takeoff weight of 650 kilograms. It can operate continuously for up to 27 hours and cover a distance of 300 kilometers from the control station. Each aircraft is capable of carrying a 150-kilogram payload, with 55 kilograms designated for weaponry. The TB2 is equipped with MAM-L laser-guided missiles, with four warhead types available, the heaviest of which weighs 22 kilograms.

The Bayraktar TB2 has demonstrated its efficacy in skirmishes on the outskirts of the capital Kiev in the initial stages of the conflict. However, the Ukrainian Air Force was forced to curtail its operations due to the formidable Russian air defense network. Consequently, the TB2s were used primarily for special ambush missions and disappeared from active service.

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