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Ukraine’s Bayraktar TB2 Drones Could Soon Be Even Deadlier

Bayraktar TB2 Drone
Bayraktar TB2 Drone of the Ukrainian Air Force.

Ukrainian forces earlier in May used Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones to destroy three Russian ships near Snake Island. Troops destroyed one Serna-class Russian landing craft and two Raptor-class patrol boats, according to a statement from the Ukrainian Operational Southern Command. 

The embarrassing losses hit Russia just days before the May 9 Victory Day parade. Ukraine estimates the attack caused 46 casualties and destroyed two Tor surface-to-air missile systems.

Helping the Drones Strike

The United States is set to help Ukraine continue to carry out successful strikes like this. In a recent $300 million military aid package to Ukraine, the U.S. pledged more guided-rocket systems that can be paired with Ukraine’s fleet of TB2 drones and used in attacks against Russian ships, vehicles, and military infrastructure.

Precisely how many TB2s Ukraine has left is unknown. Russia has released several figures in recent weeks claiming to have destroyed as many as 37 drones, out of a fleet of 35 at the time. This would give Russian forces a kill rate of over 100%. 

What is the Bayraktar TB2?

The Bayraktar TB2 is a Turkish-made, medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle. It can be controlled remotely and used both for surveillance and for missile strikes. In service since 2014, the drone is used mostly by the Turkish military, although it saw action in the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020. Its use in Ukraine, however, has given the drone a much higher profile. 

Flat, gray, and powered by a rear-mounted propeller, these drones use laser-guided missiles that are substantially less expensive than equivalents manufactured in the United States. 

The drone has repeatedly defied expectations in Ukraine, as well as in conflicts in the Caucasus and Africa. Despite being slow and flying at relatively low altitudes, the drone’s ability to carry guided missiles has made it easy for Ukrainian fighters to strike Russian military targets with great precision. 

TB2 Drone

A view shows fire on Zmiinyi (Snake) Island, Ukraine, in this screengrab taken from a TB2 drone video obtained by Reuters on May 8, 2022. Ukrainian Ground Forces/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT

Speaking to the New Yorker, former State Department official Rich Outzen said the drone “enabled a fairly significant operational revolution in how wars are being fought.”

“This probably happens only once every thirty or forty years,” Outzen said.

Russian fighters have been largely unable to jam or shoot down the aerial vehicles so far, giving Ukraine a big advantage as Russian troops try to take full control of the Donbas region.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Alex

    May 10, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    Do you want to tell how many Bayraktars were shot down by Russia and Donbass? It’s embarrassing and you can’t tell the truth, I understand you.

    Jim Chambers (Fergie Chambers) – a journalist from NY spoke about how he SAW the attacks of Ukrainian fascists on peaceful Ukrainians. He told how he SAW what horrors the Bandera Nazis were doing to the Ukrainians. He said that food and medicine appeared when the Russian Liberators came.

    He told how he SAW Nazi paraphernalia wherever the military of Ukraine abandoned their positions (swastikas, Mein Kampf books, paintings by Hitler, Bandera, etc.).

    He SAW how opponents of the regime of the Ukrainian authorities were detained, tortured and killed. He told how the people of Ukraine are waging their struggle for existence and for peace without Bandera Nazis. He spoke about how the Russian liberators help civilians and the Ukrainians ask the Russians not to leave. The Ukrainians are upset that the Russians came late, they should have come earlier.

    He said: “Our American weapons have only exacerbated the useless bloodshed in a battle that the Ukrainian fascists can never win. I am ashamed to carry an American passport with me. The world desperately needs a Russian victory: at the end of Ukrainian Nazism and at the end of the American NATO empire. World needs victory for freedom.”

  2. Alex

    May 10, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    Graham William Phillips is an outstanding British journalist who objectively and unbiasedly covers events in Ukraine.

    He is in a war zone and interviews all sides. He confirms the existence of Bandera Nazis who brutally torture and kill Ukrainians just because they do not want to see Bandera Nazis in their country.

    He confirms that the Ukrainians are asking the Russian liberators not to leave them anymore and not to leave.

    It is interesting to see how Graham interviews Aiden Aislin, a Briton who fought on the side of Ukraine as part of the Nazi Azov Battalion and was taken prisoner in Mariupol.

    The truth will always see the world thanks to such professionals, and not propagandists, who sometimes have never been to Ukraine and are thousands of miles away.

    No Nazism. We – free people will win.

    • h

      May 11, 2022 at 8:45 am

      “Free people”… like the person arrested in Russia for holding up a blank piece of paper in public as a protest?

      You do realise that interviewing a prisoner like that is in breach of the Geneva conventions?

  3. speedster

    May 10, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    First time I’ve ever heard of nato described as an empire. NATO is only a defensive alliance, where an attack on one member is treated as an attack on all. on

    Talking about empires the only country resembling that description is russia, through its invasion and stolen Japanese northern islands. Then there is the invasion of Finland and annexing of Finnish territory. There is the invasion of Georgia and declaring a republic of Russian speakers, there is the invasion of Moldova and declaring a republic of Russian speakers, there is the invasion (2014) of ukraine and declaring a republic of Russian speakers. Finally ukraine invasion of 2022, to enlarge Russian speaking g republic.

    • Alex

      May 10, 2022 at 6:06 pm

      Believe me, Bandera Nazi: your crazy and idiotic statements are nothing to the civilized world. Your words are only important for the same Bandera Nazis and Slavophobes who are very few in the world and will soon almost disappear.

  4. Eric

    May 11, 2022 at 11:34 am

    Yes, we understand the Russians shot down 37 out of 35 TB2s; so, who know what blew up those TOR systems on Snake Island? Why do Russian tanks keep blowing their turrets off when no Ukrainian soldiers are targeting them with ATGMs? Perhaps there is an invisible Thor running around the battlefield smashing Russians with Mjölnir. I guess we will never know. /s

  5. Alex

    May 11, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    A bit of truth.

    The head of the UN monitoring mission, Matilda Bogner, said that the organization has reliable information about the torture of Russian soldiers in Ukrainian captivity:
    “Ukraine and Russia must promptly and effectively investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of war,” she said.

    The military-civilian administration of the Kherson region announced their intention to appeal to Putin with a request to include the region into Russia:
    “We intend to live as part of the Russian Federation. We fully cooperate and feel as one with the regions of Russia.”

    Pfizer, Moderna, Merck, Gilead are testing medicines in Ukraine, bypassing international safety standards, reducing the costs of research programs and gaining significant competitive advantages. Coronavirus vaccine manufacturers have been involved in US military biological activities.

    Along with American pharmaceutical companies and Pentagon contractors, Ukrainian state structures are involved in military biological activities, the main tasks of which are to conceal illegal activities, conduct field and clinical trials, and provide the necessary biomaterial.
    The American side expanded its research potential both in the field of creating biological weapons and in the field of obtaining information about antibiotic resistance and the presence of antibodies to various diseases in the population of specific regions.

    Ukraine has long become a training ground for Western countries to create biological weapons components and test new samples of pharmaceuticals.

    The United States, as part of its military biological program in Ukraine, used Mariupol as a regional center for work with the cholera pathogen.
    Evidence was obtained of the emergency destruction of documents confirming work with the US military department. A preliminary analysis of the surviving documentation indicates the use of Mariupol as a regional center for the collection and certification of the cholera pathogen.

    The selected strains were sent to the public health center in Kyiv, which is entrusted with the functions of further sending biomaterials to the United States.
    This activity has been carried out since 2014, which is confirmed by the acts of transfer of strains.

    Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Fox News recalled that the United States supplied weapons to Ukraine long before the start of the Russian special operation.
    “The Biden administration was supplying weapons long before the invasion. The first billion dollars that the president allocated for Ukraine did indeed include assistance with lethal weapons … The United States, Canada, Britain, other allies actually helped prepare the Ukrainians, ”Kirby quoted the TV channel as saying.

    As military experts and analysts had previously assumed, Ukraine would have brought down all its military power on the Donbass in any case, but Russia was the first to come to the aid of Donyuass.

    The world is watching. The world sees. Lies are dying.

  6. Alexis is trembling

    May 11, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    “Alex” and “truth” aren’t two terms anyone could possibly use in the same sentence.

    What’s wrong with you, princess Alexis? You idiots’ math skills are about as good as your fighting skills.

    Keel looking up! You’re going to be famous soon, when we get the video of the drone dropping in

  7. Alexis is trembling

    May 11, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    “Alex” and “truth” aren’t two terms anyone could possibly use in the same sentence.

    What’s wrong with you, princess Alexis? Your math skills are about as good as your English.

    Keep looking up! You’re going to be famous soon, when we get the video of the drone dropping in

  8. Alex

    May 12, 2022 at 10:13 am

    OK. In Ukraine, 10,000 Russian and 1,000 Russian tanks are destroyed every day. It’s not even funny to read, but it’s not interesting anymore. Let’s talk about the collapsed Russian economy:

    The Russian ruble has become the best world currency in 2022. On Thursday, May 12, Bloomberg reported.

    According to the latest data, the ruble has grown by 11 percent against the dollar since the beginning of 2022. Thus, it has become the leader among the 31 major currencies monitored by the agency’s experts.

    The strengthening of the currency came after the measures taken by the Russian government against the backdrop of Western sanctions, writes Bloomberg. It is clarified that the authorities introduced capital controls, and also obliged exporters to sell foreign exchange earnings. In particular, in March, the President of Russia announced a new procedure for paying for gas by European consumers.

    As similar examples, the authors of the article cite the Turkish lira and the Argentine peso, which failed to achieve maximum growth rates after the decisions of the governments of these countries. The Russian currency, on the contrary, responded well to the measures taken, Bloomberg experts conclude.

    Only facts, not squeals and fantasies of Bandera Nazis and Slavophobes.

  9. Alex

    May 12, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Russia’s oil revenues have grown by 50% since the beginning of the year, despite trade restrictions imposed after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, writes Bloomberg citing a report by the International Energy Agency.

    “Russia has earned approximately $20 billion monthly since the beginning of 2022 from cumulative sales of oil and petroleum products at an export level of 8 million barrels per day,” the document says. As the IEA noted, supplies from Russia continue to flow despite the fact that the EU is currently discussing a ban on energy imports, and major international oil companies Shell and Total Energy promise to stop purchases.

    Russian energy resources are in high demand in Asia, especially in India and China. Experts emphasize that the reduction in the supply of refined products from Russia, such as diesel fuel, fuel oil and naphtha, has exacerbated tensions on world markets. At the same time, stocks of so-called middle distillates (some types of petroleum products that are obtained as a result of the distillation of hydrocarbons, including heating and marine fuels) are at their lowest level since 2008.

    Another collapse of the Russian economy. I am sure that in Russia they clap and thank you.

  10. Alex

    May 14, 2022 at 9:04 am

    You need to understand the main thing: the United States is hysterical because the United States is losing the war in Ukraine. The only thing is to intervene directly in the conflict. And this will mean the end of the US country.

    And here are the real numbers:
    In total since the beginning of the special military operation, Russia has destroyed: 165 aircraft, 125 helicopters, 858 unmanned aerial vehicles, 304 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,051 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 372 multiple rocket launchers, 1,507 field artillery pieces and mortars, as well as 2898 units of special military vehicles.

    Will the old American idiot decide on a nuclear war because of a slap in the impoverished Ukraine? We will see. But one thing is clear: the United States will cease to exist not as a country, but as a continent.

  11. Alex

    May 15, 2022 at 11:16 am

    A demobilized French soldier, author of the book “Get up and go thanks to science” Adrien Boke went to Ukraine on a humanitarian mission and spent three weeks there.

    Upon his return, he decided to convey to the French information about the events he had witnessed in Ukraine.

    “I take full responsibility for what I say. While in Ukraine, I witnessed war crimes. All of them were committed by the Ukrainian army. But in France we don’t talk about it!

    When I returned to France from Ukraine, I was shocked: TV channels invite as experts people who have not been to Ukraine and do not know anything about what is happening there now. However, they dare to speculate about these events. Between what I hear from the TV screen and what I saw with my own eyes is an abyss.

    Azov fighters are everywhere. With neo-Nazi stripes. It shocks me that Europe is supplying weapons to neo-Nazis. Not only do they not hide their views. They advertise them. I worked with these people and treated them.

    Being there, there was nothing I could do. Just watch and make videos. I have this footage and will use it as evidence of Ukraine’s crimes.

    I witnessed how the Ukrainian military shot through the knees of captured Russian soldiers and shot in the head higher-ranking officers.

    I have personally seen American videographers making fake footage from the scene of the events staging.

    All destroyed civilian buildings, given out by Ukraine for bombardment of civilians, are nothing more than the result of inaccurate shooting by Ukrainians at military facilities.

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine hide ammunition in residential buildings at night, without even informing the residents. This is called using people as a shield, ”Boke quotes one of the French media.

    The Washington Post recently drew attention to the fact that Ukrainian troops are placing military equipment in residential areas of cities in an attempt to counter the Russian Armed Forces, which threatens the lives of civilians.

    Boke also spoke about the untruthfulness of Western media reports about the events in Bucha.

    “Bucha is a staging. The bodies of the dead were moved from other places and deliberately placed in such a way as to produce shocking footage, ”the French author noted.

    The documents confirming this were submitted to the Federal Security Service – how, who – there are relevant intercepts – on what transport he came to this settlement and created the conditions for organizing this provocation.

    Soon all the collected evidence about the crimes of the Nazis in Ukraine will be seen by the whole world. And the most important thing is the help of Western countries to the Nazis of Ukraine and assistance in their crimes.

  12. Alex

    May 15, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    A journalist from the United States, Lara Logan, during the broadcast of the Real America’s Voice program, accused the Western media of lying about the Russian special operation in Ukraine:

    “I really think there is so much misinformation right now. We have never seen anything like it. I’ve been covering military conflicts for 35 years now and I’ve never seen anyone with their fingernails decorated with the Ukrainian flag. I mean, we are being driven into such a framework where we have to hate Vladimir Putin and believe everything bad that is said about him and love Ukraine. There is simply no other position.”

    A lot of things are happening in Ukraine that we don’t talk about. This concerns the history of Ukraine, the Azov battalion, which is funded by the US and NATO. In the photographs, they are holding NATO flags and a swastika at the same time.

    They use the Nazi emblem from the SS. Everywhere in the Ukrainian army you can see this emblem of their cult. Even female soldiers wear this black badge of their cult.

    The White House pretends that it doesn’t matter that it’s only a small number of troops, but that’s not true. Azov has carved its way into eastern Ukraine through assassinations. We don’t want to admit it.

    That is why Crimea voted for independence, why Crimea wanted to be with Russia. The Western media and the West do not want to admit the reality that Western Ukraine supports the Nazis. There was the headquarters of the Nazis SS, – said the journalist.

  13. John

    May 16, 2022 at 10:14 am

    In the course of a special operation in Ukraine, documentary evidence was obtained that in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders, in fact, components of biological weapons were created. In violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. Possible methods and mechanisms for destabilizing the epidemiological situation in the post-Soviet space were worked out.
    The Parliamentary Commission on Biolaboratories received confirmation of non-compliance by the United States and Ukraine with a ban on the development of bioweapons.
    Evidence has already been obtained in terms of non-compliance by the United States and Ukraine with their obligations to comply with the UN Convention on the Prohibition of the Development of Bioweapons.
    The Commission on Biolaboratories has begun analyzing the reports of the United States and Ukraine for 5 years on the implementation of the Convention on Bioweapons, in addition, the facts of providing false information by Washington and Kyiv to the Secretariat of the Conference on Bioweapons have been established.
    Consideration of these issues (about biolaboratories) will be held at the UN Security Council. The US authorities are obliged to answer many questions.
    Facts have been established that both the United States and Ukraine provided incomplete or inaccurate information. So there is a complete concealment in the reports of information on biological programs with the support of the US Department of Defense in Ukraine. All reports from Ukraine report a lack of national biosecurity research and development programs.
    1. In a number of cases, information on outbreaks of infectious diseases was not provided, which is a mandatory requirement.
    2. There were no reports of the participation of military personnel in the work of laboratories, as well as the facts of the transfer of biomaterials, funding of facilities and programs by the military departments.
    For example, in 2019, as part of a Pentagon program, two laboratories were built in Kyiv and Odessa for the State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection. The answer to the question why the United States needs secret military laboratories in Ukraine, which are not reported in the BTWC reports, is certainly related to the nature of research in the United States.
    There is also evidence of biological weapons research on patients in Ukrainian psychiatric hospitals.
    It is obvious that the Ukrainians were used in the same way as the Third Reich used at one time.

  14. John

    May 17, 2022 at 8:39 am

    And now a little truth, not fantasy:

    The captured Ukrainian military spoke about the atrocities of the national battalions.
    Nationalist battalions commit atrocities and kill civilians, ordinary servicemen are afraid of them, said captured Ukrainian military Alexander Chervakov.

    “Each of them has a German swastika, it was immediately clear that these were the volunteer battalions “Azov” or “Aidar” … They robbed and killed for eight years, what would be the attitude towards them.

    According to him, the national battalions inspire fear in everyone – both civilians and military personnel, for them to give a queue through a crowd of people is like “looking at each other.”

    Chervakov said that 12 out of 30 people left their outpost, not wanting to fight, and this was possible only “at first”. “Then you won’t go anywhere – you stand together with the National Battalions, together with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, you try to move somewhere else there,” he shared.

    Chervakov said that the national battalions “killed a lot of people, civilians.” “Severodonetsk was practically destroyed, despite the fact that there was not a single Russian military there. It was destroyed by the Ukrainian army,” he said.

    The prisoner added that morale is maintained in the Ukrainian troops with the help of patriotic slogans, alcohol and drugs. “They were allowed to just drink and smoke and sniff,” he said.

    Earlier, a captured soldier of the Ukrainian army appealed to citizens with a request not to join the armed forces of Ukraine and other armed formations called up in the third wave of mobilization.

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