Poland to receive first combat drones from Turkey this year

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Poland will receive its first Bayraktar TB2 combat drones from Turkey in the autumn, a deputy defence minister has said.

Wojciech Skurkiewicz told Polish Radio 24 on Friday that Poland's armed forces would receive the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Turkey later this year under a contract the two countries signed in 2021.

"Starting negotiations with the Turkish side on (the purchase of) the Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicles, we were aware that the weapon had proved effective on the battlefield," Skurkiewicz said.

"This is the reason for our decision," he added.

Despite criticism from the opposition, he said, "today there is probably no politician who wouldn't like the Bayraktar TB2 drones, which will enter service in the Polish armed forces already this autumn."

The Bayraktar drones, which Ukraine had bought before Russia invaded the country on February 24, have wreaked havoc on Russian forces. They have proven to be effective against Russian armour, which has largely been possible owing to Russia's failure to ensure air superiority on the battlefield.