The People’s Defence Forces (HPG), an armed wing of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) announced the downing of the Bayraktar TB2.
Kurdish fighters had brought down the hi tech unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on May 21st 2021 in the Zêbarî district of Akrê region of South Kurdistan, according to ANF.
Bayraktar TB2, is one of Turkey’s much lauded weapons of choice against the PKK which the Turkish state have been praising as a weapon that would finally defeat the PKK in the previously inaccessible mountainous area of Medya Defence Zones of the PKK.
HPG stated that they would not be disclosing the method by which they brought down the Bayraktar TB2 for ‘security reasons’, leading observers to wonder if the Kurdish forces have developed or obtained a surface to air weapon system or laser device that is capable to disabling the UAV that has caused so many civilian deaths in Iraqi Kurdistan and North and East Syria with many targeted assassinations carried out by UAVs in the last years against Kurds.
The HPG previously announced that they had taken down several Turkish military helicopters since Turkey launched it’s campaign in northern Iraq on 23rd April.
The development of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 by the Turkish president’s own son in law’s company, was spurred on by a U.S. ban on exports of armed unmanned aircraft to Turkey due to concerns they would be used against Kurdish groups inside and outside of Turkey.
The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is directly tied to the emerging domestic drone production inside Turkey with his own son in law Selcuk Bayraktar owning the private defence company “Baykar”, that produces the unmanned combat aerial vehicles. “Our air vehicles are admired all over the world,” Erdoğan said in January.
This particular UAV has been used not only by the Turkish army, but has also been used by armies of various other countries, including Qatar, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Turkish drones were also used extensively in Libya and Syria. Currently, 160 Bayraktar platforms are at the service of Turkey, Qatar, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
Bayraktar TB2 is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE), tactical UAV capable of conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and armed attack missions, according to the open source data of Baykar.
Since 2014, Bayraktar TB2 has carried out missions within the Turkish armed forces, gendarmerie and Turkish national police. It is is also the first-ever aircraft in its category to be exported abroad. The estimated cost of Bayraktar TB2 is 2 million Euros, exluding the costs of the ground control systems.