Baykar trains Nigerian drone pilots ahead of delivery of Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs
According to Lionel Ekene in Military Africa, Turkey is training Nigerian military personnel on the operation of its advanced drone systems. Nigeria is reported to have ordered Turkish drones although, the exact type is still uncertain, however, unofficial sources indicate that Abuja opted for either the Bayraktar TB2 or Akinci drone, or even both.
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Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone displayed at MSPO 2022 defense exhibition in Poland. (Picture source: Army Recognition)
Nigerian Senator Ali Ndume, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, in a recent media interview explained that Nigerian UAV pilots are currently undergoing training in Turkey, to Lionel Ekene reports in Military Africa. Actually, it appears that Nigeria has placed orders for Bayraktar drones.
In January, Nigeria and Turkey entered talks on defense collaboration in counter-terrorism support as well as the acquisition of various military hardware which may include attack helicopters, armed drones, and other infantry systems. A team from the Turkish Defense Establishment would meet its Nigerian counterpart in Abuja for the 5th Turkey-Nigeria Defence Industry Consultation Meeting.
In October 2021, after a meeting between the Turkish-Nigerian Business Congress, and some Nigerian Governors, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State announced that he will acquire armed drones from a Turkish company to aid in the war against terrorism in the state.
BayraktarTB2 costs on average between $1 million and $2 million per unit, which is “far less than the near $20m per drone for a Protector drone manufactured by General Atomics. Affordability and combat successes are propelling Turkish drones' attractiveness to foreign buyers, especially the nations that cannot spend large sums in buying western UCAVs, Lionel Ekene comments.