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Romania signs $321M deal to procure Turkish TB2 combat drones

Bayraktar UAV
Illustration; Photo: Talha Işık/Creative Commons

The Romanian defense ministry has awarded a contract worth $321 million to Turkish defense firm Baykar for the procurement of Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The official contract award notice for the production of the Bayraktar TB2 UAV was published on April 25th on the Tenders Electronic Daily website, an online version of the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union for public procurement projects.

The notice confirmed that the Turkish manufacturer had been awarded the contract for the production of these drone systems, following a competitive bidding process.

The Romanian defense ministry had sought the prior approval of the country’s parliament in early August last year to initiate the process of awarding contracts for the procurement of three Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aircraft systems. Each system includes six aerial platforms with target engagement capabilities (a total of 18 drones).

“Through this acquisition, the implementation of the Capability Targets assigned to Romania in the framework of NATO’s defense planning process is considered. Also, this approach contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the Program regarding the transformation of the Romanian Army until the year 2040, which provides for the provision of the categories of forces and commands of the Romanian Army with military equipment and weapons systems that ensure the creation of flexible force structures, with a wide spectrum of capabilities specific to the 21st century, with means to ensure the survival of military structures in the tactical field, expanded situational awareness and increased firepower,” the Romanian MoD stated in August.

The Bayraktar TB2 UAV are slated to be delivered to Timisoara and the Romanian Air Force’s 93rd Air Base, from where the now-retired MiG-23s were operated. With the arrival of the TB2 drones, Romania will become the second EU country after Poland to operate these advanced systems.