Lithuania is considering buying Turkish-made Bayraktar combat drones, Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas has said.
“The acquisition of combat drones is in the plans, possibly a Bayraktar, too,” Anušauskas told reporters on Tuesday. “I don’t want to elaborate on all those plans right now.”
According to the minister, Lithuania regularly updates its military acquisition plans “in line with the lessons of the Ukrainian war”.
“What previously seemed unconvincing or inappropriate for our conditions is changing, and attitudes are changing,” he said.
Representatives of Lithuania and Turkey signed an agreement in Ankara on Wednesday, paving the way for Vilnius to acquire Bayraktar combat drones. The country will buy the unmanned aerial vehicle and other equipment with money raised by ordinary Lithuanians and then hand it over to Ukraine which is fighting a Russian invasion.
The fundraising campaign was launched by the journalist Andrius Tapinas and his media channel Laisvės TV. It raised over 5 million euros in under four days.
A letter of intent on the purchase of Turkish-made weapons was signed by Deputy Defence Minister Vilius Semeška and the head of the Turkish Defence Industry Agency.
“We have signed an agreement. This means the green light for further acquisitions at the political level,”
Semeška told BNS.
He will meet with the head of Baykar, the manufacturer of Bayraktar drones, on Thursday.
Moreover, Semeška said on Wednesday that he had discussed with the Turkish agency’s head not only the acquisition of a Bayraktar with the money donated by the public but also the possible acquisition of at least one drone system for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. According to him, the system would consist of six drones and the necessary equipment to operate them.
Article originally published on www.uasvision.com as Lithuania and Turkey Sign Agreement for Bayraktar Drones