ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish company Baykar has signing a deal with Albania to sell three Bayraktar TB2 armed drones, the UAV manufacturer announced.
“We signed an export contract with Albania, a country we have walked along for centuries and share strong historical, cultural and humanitarian ties,” Baykar’s president, Haluk Bayraktar, announced Dec. 20 in a tweet. “The number of countries with which we signed export contracts for our #BayraktarTB2 UAVs became 27.”
Neither Albania nor Turkey, both of whom are NATO members, announced the contract price or delivery timetable.
Albania said the drones will be ready for action should the country’s national security comes under threat, and that the TB2s will also support the police force. The Balkan state also said the drones will help authorities monitor its territory, locate cannabis plantations and track wildfires. The aircraft is to be equipped with lightweight laser-guided weapons.
Baykar plans to train some 30 Albanian military personnel on air control and operations, with the country expected to base the drones at its Kucova air base, south of the capital Tirana, to support NATO air supply operations, and logistical support, air policing, and training.
Earlier this year Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani and Defense Minister Armend Mehaj visited a Baykar production plant in Turkey, expressing their intention to buy the TB2. In response, Kosova’s Balkan rival Serbia announced in September that it wanted to buy the Turkish combat drones. Negotiations for each potential order are underway.
Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.