DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Kuwait has reached an agreement worth $367 million with Turkish drone-maker Baykar to purchase its increasingly sought-after TB2 combat drones, the Kuwaiti Army said.

The Bayraktar TB2 can carry lightweight, laser-guided bombs and fly for up to 27 hours at a time, which, according to the company, was “a record” it had set while testing the drone in Kuwait in 2019.

Tuesday’s announcement would set Kuwait to become the 28th country to procure the TB2 drones.

Demand for the drones has surged due to their successful deployment in conflict zones such as Libya, Syria and Ukraine.

Kuwaiti Air Force operations chief brigadier, Gen. Fahad Al-Dosari, said in a video posted on Twitter that the drone fleet can support the naval and coast guard forces, as well as monitor maritime and land borders. He said the drones can also “carry out reconnaissance and targeted missions” in addition to supporting search and rescue efforts.

Baykar and the Kuwaiti government did not say how many drones were purchased or when they would be delivered. Both could not be immediately reached for comment.

The drones — priced under $2 million each according to estimates — are produced by the defense company Baykar, which belongs to the family of Selcuk Bayraktar, the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Bayraktar is the company’s chief technical officer.

The TB2 has been credited with helping tip the balance of conflicts in Libya, as well as to Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan in fighting with Armenian-backed forces in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in 2020.

It has also enabled Ukraine to mount a stiff defense of its cities, carrying out attacks against Russian forces with an effectiveness that surprised many Western military experts and triggered a rush among nations to procure the unmanned craft.

A private Lithuanian crowdfunding campaign, inspired by the drone’s effectiveness in battle, rallied ordinary citizens and raised nearly €6 million (U.S. $6.5 million) to purchase a TB2 for Ukraine.

The drone contract between Baykar and Kuwait, struck through direct negotiations between the Turkish and Kuwaiti governments, also includes weapons provisioning, electronic warfare and mobile ground control facilities compatible with NATO standards, according to Kuwaiti state media.

Kuwait, considered a major non-NATO ally, and the U.S. have had a close military partnership since America launched the 1991 Gulf War to expel Iraqi troops after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded the country. The country hosts the U.S. Army Central’s forward headquarters and some 13,500 American troops.

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