The Ukrainian Navy has received its first Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicle Bayraktar TB2, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said on its official Twitter account.
"We will get an effective means of reconnaissance and defense for both the coastal area and the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, as well as a possibility to strike surface and ground targets of the enemy with high-precision weapons,” Ukraine's Minister of Defense Andrey Taran said.
President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky announced the supplies of Turkish drones for the Ukrainian Navy in early July. According to him, Ukrainian specialists have completed training in using the Bayraktar TB2 UAV in Turkey. He also noted that Turkey would build a modern corvette for Ukraine by 2023.
On April 10, it was reported that Ukraine used the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone for the first time over the zone of military operations in Donbass. It was a reconnaissance flight, Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence Yuri Mysyagin said.
Ukraine started negotiating the deal to purchase Turkish-made Bayraktar drones back in the summer of 2020, before Turkish weapons were used by Azerbaijan during the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba later explained that Ukraine needed Turkish weapons to "contain" Russia.
A report posted on Ukraine's Defence Express publication said that the Bayraktar TB2 drones could be used to sink Russian warships.
"The Bayraktar TB2 UAVs will significantly strengthen the ability of the Ukrainian Navy to protect the southern borders of our homeland,” the message runs.
The publication also noted that Bayraktar TB2 was to be used to monitor water areas, to target missiles of the ZhK-360MTS Neptune coastal complex, and to attack the enemy from the air.
"Our Navy will be able to use its Bayraktar TB2 to strike small and medium-sized ships of the Black Sea Fleet of Russia," the publication wrote.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year