A Bayraktar TB2 UCAV Base Has Been Opened In Kyrgyzstan

A new base for Border Guard Services’ Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs has been established by the Kyrgyzstan State Committee for National Security. The base’s opening was attended by a large number of government representatives, including Kamchibek Tashiev, chairman of the state committee for national security, and Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov. In his speech at the opening ceremony, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov stated that peace and stability in the country begin at the state’s borders, stating, “For this reason, ensuring the security of the borders of Kyrgyzstan is one of the priorities of the state. In the future, work will continue to improve the living and working conditions of border guards,” Japarov also recalled that UCAVs were purchased by the Border Guard Service last year using budgetary funds.

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov speaks at the opening ceremony of the new Bayraktar TB2 base / From the official website of the Presidency of the Kyrgyz Republic

According to Japarov, the base’s primary responsibilities will be to provide air defense for ground forces and other military units that are under the command of the Kyrgyzstani Armed Forces. Japarov expressed his hope that the equipment purchased to strengthen the material base in ensuring border security will only be used in tasks aimed at protecting his country’s sovereignty, saying, “As I always say, Kyrgyzstan is a peace-loving country. I emphasize that our efforts to strengthen our armed force are purely defensive,”

After the official opening, President Japarov and General Kamchibek Tashiev, the head of the state committee for national security paid a visit to the base. During their visit, they were briefed by the soldiers on the duties of the UCAVs responsible for guarding the state border and were given a chance to watch a demonstration flight. The president also put his signature on a TB2 that was being prepared for takeoff. These Bayraktar TB2s, which were transported to the new facility from the Jalal-Abad Airport in Kyrgyzstan, will most likely be utilized for reconnaissance and surveillance operations, particularly along the Tajikistan border.

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov signs a Bayraktar TB2 at the newly opened drone base / From the official website of the Presidency of the Kyrgyz Republic

Border disputes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are common, and occasionally there are clashes between the two forces. The most recent border skirmish between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan occurred a few hours following the opening of the aforementioned base. Both countries’ border guards opened fire on each other at the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border. According to a statement from the Kyrgyzstani Ministry of Health, there were no injuries or fatalities on the Kyrgyz side of the conflict, however the Tajikistan authorities stated that one soldier had been killed and two more had been injured.

In October 2021 General Kamchibek Tashiev, the deputy prime minister of Kyrgyzstan and head of the state committee for national security, revealed the country’s purchase of Bayraktar TB2s from Turkey. Tashiev said in his remarks at the time that in addition to the Bayraktar TB2s, Kyrgyzstan had also bought Russian Orlan-10 UAVs. Kyrgyzstan’s TB2s arrived around two months after General Kamchibek Tashiev’s remarks. The Kyrgyzstani TB2s were utilized for the first time as part of the “Kalkan-2022” (Shield) exercise that was conducted in March. It was revealed during the exercise that the Kyrgyz TB2s had been equipped with both the MAM-L munitions developed by Roketsan and the CATS electro-optical sensor system developed by ASELSAN.

In addition to the Kyrgyz army, Tajikistan also reportedly has Bayraktar TB2s in its arsenal. In an inquiry to Kyrgyzstan’s new foreign minister, Jeenbek Kulubaev, Kyrghyz Parliament Deputy Mirlan Samyikozho demanded information on the validity of the allegation that Turkey sold Bayraktars to Tajikistan. “Yes, this is true.” We posed a question to the embassy in this regard. We can confirm. We advised the Turkish side to exercise caution in this matter because the issues between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have not been resolved. However, Turkey claims that it is ‘business’. They state that military-technical cooperation will continue.” Additionally, Tajikistan now hosts a drone production facility that was established by Iran and unveiled back in May.