Pakistan Acquires Bayraktar TB2 and Akıncı Drones From Turkey

The Pakistan Air Force Public Relations Department posted a video depicting the country’s Air Force’s development from the past to the present and where it is now. Between 3:12 and 3:25 seconds of this video, which was played with the national anthem and exceeded 5 minutes in duration, Bayraktar Akıncı and Bayraktar TB2 drones were also seen.

Baykar Defense had already signed export contracts with 19 countries for the Bayraktar TB2, produced by the company. The Bayraktar Akıncı Attack Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TİHA) has also sold to two countries, according to Baykar CEO Haluk Bayraktar, even before it enters production. After the video was posted on the official page, it was confirmed that Pakistan was one of the two nations to which Akıncı was sold, and that the TB2 has also been sold to Pakistan.

Baykar Technology and Pakistani officials did not disclose any information to the public, such as how many of these systems were ordered under the terms of the agreement or how much the agreement was worth. The Turkish flag on the Akıncı drone seen in the video can be interpreted as Pakistan using stock footage since Pakistan has not yet received the new drones. Furthermore, it seems highly likely that the TB2s seen in the video were delivered to Islamabad by a Pakistan Air Force Ilyushin Il-78MP type transport aircraft with tail number R11-003, which took off from Tekirdağ Çorlu Atatürk Airport, where Baykar Defense’s test and production center is located, on March 8, 2022.

Photo of Nadeem Raza, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, with Haluk Bayraktar during his visit to Baykar R&D production center / From Baykar

The video also featured the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, whose Block III configuration is currently under development, the CAIG Wing Loong II UAV capable of remote-controlled or autonomous flight developed by Chengdu, and the HQ-9B High Altitude Air Defense System. In addition to Chinese and Turkish UAVs, Pakistan is working on developing its own domestic UAVs. In this regard, in August 2021, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Pakistan’s National Engineering & Scientific Commission (NESCOM) signed a contract for “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”.

TAI General Manager Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil and Pakistan’s National Engineering & Scientific Commission (NESCOM) while signing a contract for “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” / From the official Twitter account of TAI

Aside from the contract that includes employment, resource, and technology transfer for the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles between Turkey and Pakistan, it is claimed that the T-FX fifth generation fighter project developed by TAI to replace the F-16 aircraft, which are planned to be gradually phased out of the Turkish Air Force Command’s inventory beginning in the 2030s, will be carried out in cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan, with the knowledge gained within the scope of Pakistan’s AZM project, and that both countries will take part in the design and manufacture of the aircraft.