The Turkish defense company Baykar will donate a Bayraktar TB2 advanced combat drone to Lithuania for transfer to Ukraine after Lithuanian citizens raised nearly 6 million euros to buy one. Baykar is requesting that the funds be used instead to provide humanitarian aid for Ukrainians.
“The people of Lithuania have honorably raised funds to buy a Bayraktar TB2 for Ukraine,” the company wrote on Twitter. “Upon learning this, Baykar will gift a Bayraktar TB2 to Lithuania free of charge and asks those funds go to Ukraine for humanitarian aid.”
Lithuanian Deputy Defence Minister Vilius Semaska confirmed the move in a statement, writing "We came to Turkey to agree on conditions for the drone purchase, but they prepared the most pleasant surprise possible for us."
Lithuania's Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas thanked the company on Twitter, writing ““It is unbelievable but Turkey just agreed to give the Bayraktar that Lithuania gathered money for and for free. It is amazing! For the gathered money we will buy the needed ammunition for the Bayraktar and the rest of money will also go for support of Ukraine. Thank you Turkey.”
The target of 5 million euros to purchase the drone was raised by Lithuanians in just three and a half days, according to Laisves TV, the Lithuanian internet broadcaster that launched the drive.
The TB2 has proven to be an effective tool in Ukraine’s arsenal against Russian forces. Ukraine purchased more than 20 such drones in the last several years and placed an order for an additional 16 in January.