A Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone, secured by Lithuania for Ukraine after a local crowdfunding campaign, is expected to be shipped to Kyiv in the coming hours.
The “Vanagas” (meaning “falcon” in Lithuanian), along with ammunition, arrived in the Baltic country on Monday, the country’s Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas said. tweeted. After a press introduction on Wednesday, Anušauskas added that the drone would soon be transferred to Ukraine.
“Last hours of Bayraktar “Vanagas” in Lithuania. Very soon it will be delivered to Ukraine,” he tweeted.
The crowdfunding campaign was launched by Lithuanian online broadcaster Laisves TV last month and was able to raise around 6 million euros ($6.11 million) to purchase the drone.
The purchase was arranged by the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, but it says after learning it was being purchased through a crowdfunding campaign, the manufacturer donated the drone for free.
“Lithuanian citizens raised funds for this aircraft, but inspired by the idea, the Turkish company ‘Baykar’, the maker of ‘Bayraktar’, decided to donate it,” the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said. in a press release. “1.5 million euros of the 5.9 million donated were allocated to arming the unmanned aircraft.”
This is not the first time Baykar has donated some of its drones to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Last month, after a Ukrainian crowdfunding campaign secured enough funds to buy three of the drones, the company announced it would give them away for free.
“We ask that the funds raised be donated to the struggling Ukrainian people instead,” he said in a June 27 statement.
The Bayraktar TB2 drone played a key role in Ukraine’s defense against Russia. The country had around 20 unmanned aerial vehicles before the war began on February 24, but Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on June 28 that his office had been able to secure up to 50 drones since then. the start of the invasion.
“In the near future, almost all of Baykar Makina’s plant capacity will be focused on meeting the needs of the armed forces. It’s about ordering dozens more drones,” Reznikov added.