Baykar, the manufacturer of Bayraktar Akıncı unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has revealed in twin announcements a new weapons integration trial for its Akıncı UAV, while also committing to the provision of a number of TB2 platforms to the Maldives.

The announcements, unveiled on 15 March indicate a further maturation of the Akıncı UAV, and also sees the Turkish company’s platforms exported further into the global uncrewed market.

Baykar Tech, a Turkish defence company specialising in military UAVs and AI, is gaining prominence, according to GlobalData’s intelligence on drones in aerospace and defence.

Integrating Roketsan MAM-L and MAM-T guided bombs onto the Bayraktar Akıncı introduces a new dimension to the Akinci drone defence posture, enabling precision strikes against targets concealed by cloud cover. While both munitions typically rely on semi-active laser guidance, Baykar’s announcement revealed testing of variants equipped with television and imaging infrared seekers, enhancing their effectiveness in adverse conditions.

Footage released by Baykar showcases the Bayraktar Akıncı loaded with an array of guided bombs, including MAM-Ls and MAM-Ts, with the demonstration carried out at Baykar’s Çorlu facility.

In January this year, EDGE and Baykar joined forces to elevate drone warfare capabilities by integrating precision-guided munitions onto Baykar’s Bayraktar TB2 UAV. 

Concurrently, the Maldives is addressing the emerging security threats to its vast oceanic territories as the archipelagic state aligns with Bakyar’s technology, signalling a proactive approach. By incorporating Baykar’s surveillance drones, efforts have begun to establish a drone base in Noonu atoll Maafaru to operate the military drones and conduct monitoring of the Maldives’ ocean territories.

In Ferbruary 2024, Baykar also announced plans to construct a new factory near Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, employing around 500 people to manufacture its TB2 or TB3 drone models. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan inaugurated a training facility and maintenance hangar for its latest Akinci drone. 

Integrating two Bayraktar TB2 drones into the Maldives’ defence infrastructure will add new capabilities to the Indian Ocean nation, which has extensive maritime zones to monitor. The drone, capable of conducting precision strikes, will be operated by a special team of the MNDF.

The Bayraktar TB2 has proven its effectiveness in modern warfare scenarios, notably in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Its affordability, priced at $1-2m per unit, has made it a cost-effective option for nations seeking to enhance their defence capabilities. The platform’s success in various conflicts, including Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, has spurred global demand, with orders from multiple countries. 

Other recent international procurements of Baykar’s UAVs include Romania clinching a $321m contract for the acquisition of TB2 UAVs. In addition, Baykar has inked a deal with Saudi Arabia, marking the largest defence agreement in Turkish history. The agreement entails supplying the Akinci to the Saudi Army