Norwegian and Polish citizens buy Bayraktar TB2s for Ukraine

OSLO ($1=10.09 Norwegian Krones) — Following the example of Lithuania, whose citizens raised money for one Bayraktar TB2 attack drone and it has already flown to the battlefield in Ukraine, Norwegians and Poles have started the same campaign. Currently, other European countries are running the same initiatives, but Poland and Norway stand out because of the pace of fundraising.

Bayraktar TB2 MALE unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV)
Photo: Wikipedia

The Norwegian company is asking everyone to donate a minimum of NOK 10 [$0.99 or $1.00 depending on the exchange rate of the day]. The amount required to purchase one Bayraktr TB2 is about 5 million USD. Campaign organizers in Norway say the first 1,000 people to donate at least NOK 250 [US$25] will participate in the naming process for the drone. Lithuania, for example, named its donation and sent a Bayraktar TB2 combat drone to Ukraine with the name Vanagas [Hawk in English]. “Donate Bayraktar from Norwegians to the people of Ukraine – show solidarity in the fight against Putin,” the Norwegian campaign urged.

Poland and its citizens have already raised more than 3 million USD. This is 75% of the necessary funds for the purchase of one Bayraktar TB2. According to the data, as of July 18, 250,000 Poles have donated money to finance the attack drone. The money is being raised through the crowdfunding platform, and Polish journalist Slawomir Serekowski is the initiator of the campaign. Poland says that if fewer funds are collected than necessary, they will be transferred to the account of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the National Bank of Ukraine. The same will be done if more funds are raised.

Following the example of Lithuania

Nearly two months ago, the citizens of Lithuania started collecting funds for the purchase of a Turkish Bayratakr TB2 drone to be donated to the armed forces of Ukraine. The initiator of the campaign was Lithuanian journalist Andrius Tapinas. Tapinas said of the campaign: “Perhaps for the first time in history, citizens of one country donate such heavy weapons to another.”

Lithuanian citizens raise €5M to buy Bayraktar TB2 for Ukraine

The Lithuanians collected the necessary funds, but the government of Turkey, as well as the manufacturer of the Turkish drones – the company Bayrak, surprised the citizens by announcing that the collected money would be donated to the Ukrainian armed forces, and the company would provide their drone for free.

On July 6th, a Spartan C-27J transport aircraft transported Vanagas [the name of the Lithuanian drone donated to the Ukrainians] to an airbase in Lithuania, after which it was assigned to the Ukrainian front as requested by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine.

50 Bayraktar TB2 for Ukraine

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced on July 1 that Ukraine had received a total of 50 Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs from Baykar since February 24, when Ukraine was occupied by Russia and the Ukraine-Russia war began.

Reznikov thanked Baykar for the donation of three Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs, showing a great gesture in the campaign launched to purchase three Bayraktar TB2s. The Turkish company Baykar refused to receive this money collected from the donations of the Ukrainian people and instead said that the donations will be transferred to Ukrainian humanitarian aid resources to strengthen the Turkish-Ukrainian friendship.

Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles with increased control range
Photo credit: Defence Blog

Reznikov also stated that Ukraine was able to receive the first Bayraktar TB2 UAV in 2021, thanks to the strong cooperation of Ukraine’s President Zelensky and Turkey’s President Erdogan. Reznikov described the Bayraktar drones as “very successful in the war”.

In the post he shared, Oleksiy Reznikov also announced that Ukraine and Turkey had been working on building a joint Bayraktar TB2 production facility in Ukraine before the war. However, he said that construction of the facility has been halted due to the war, but that they aim to rebuild it in the medium and long term.

Reznikov said Ukraine has many Bayraktar TB2s that it expects to be delivered in July, adding that it has already signed an agreement. He reported that due to such a high order of the Ukrainian armed forces, almost all the capacity of the Baykar plant in Turkey will be transferred to orders from Ukraine.

Frequent flights between Turkey and Poland over the past two months indicate that Turkey continues to supply Kyiv with TB2 and MAM-L munitions. With these orders, the Ukrainian military is the largest user of Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs after the Turkish Armed Forces.


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