Poland Takes Delivery Of Bayraktar TB2 Drones

Credit: Polish Defense Ministry

Poland has taken delivery of its first batch of Baykar Bayraktar TB2 armed uncrewed aircraft systems, becoming the first NATO export customer for the Turkish-developed system.

The delivery of the consignment—which included six TB2 twin-boom air vehicles and three ground control stations—was announced by Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak on Oct. 28 during a ceremony at Mirosławiec airbase. 

Deliveries came just days after the Polish Defense Ministry announced the lease of several General Atomics MQ-9A Reapers from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems to boost national intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. 

“There are no modern armed forces without drones,” Błaszczak said, adding, “This marks a major stage in the process of the Polish armed forces’ modernization, equipping them with modern equipment.” 

Poland ordered four Bayraktar TB2 systems in May 2021, having seen how effective the low-cost platform had been during operations in Armenia, Libya and Syria. The UAS showed it could successfully counter advanced Russian-made air defenses and attack armored vehicles. 

Błaszczak said Warsaw faced criticism for the Bayraktar purchase, but he said the platform’s success in Ukraine “shows that those claims were wrong and that it is a highly effective weapon.” 

Polish personnel have been undergoing training on the platform in Turkey in preparation for delivery, allowing flight operations to get underway shortly. The deal also includes 24-month training and logistics packages. Baykar is enabling technology transfer so that Polish personnel can service and repair the drones’ engines and electro-optical cameras as well as ground control stations.  

The aircraft will be equipped with the Roketsan-developed MAM-C and MAM-L small-diameter laser-guided munitions.  

The Bayraktars join a rapidly growing Polish inventory of equipment as Warsaw upscales its armed forces in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Recent months have seen Poland acquire main battle tanks, as well as howitzers, rocket artillery and light attack aircraft from South Korea, Apache attack helicopters from the U.S. and battlefield utility helicopters from Italy. Meanwhile, the Bayraktar is expecting to expand its NATO customer base with Romania expected to follow suit. Other NATO nations have purchased TB2s through crowdfunding schemes so that the systems can be delivered to Ukraine. 

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.