Global technology and defence player EDGE has joined forces with international unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) business Baykar to integrate precision-guided munitions onto Baykar’s Bayraktar TB2 UAV. 

EDGE and Baykar are spearheading an integration programme, leveraging EDGE’s DESERT STING 16 precision-guided munition onto the Baykar TB2 UAV. This initiative, a key component of the strategic alliance agreement between the two industry players, is aimed at reshaping the landscape of UAV capabilities.

H.E. Faisal Al Bannai, chairman of the board of EDGE, said: “The opportunity to enhance the capabilities of both EDGE and Baykar is an important step forward in our partnership,” said Al Bannai, emphasising the potential of merging EDGE’s smart weapons with Baykar’s UAV technology.

Selçuk Bayraktar, chairman and CTO of Baykar, echoed these sentiments, emphasising the value of integrating EDGE’s DESERT STING 16 and other advanced systems into their UAV payload offerings. “Our strategic alliance with EDGE, a global leader in advanced technology, opens up new possibilities for our clients,” stated Bayraktar, highlighting the options this collaboration brings to Baykar’s client base.

Developments will benefit customers like Romania, a nation that last year awarded a $321m (1.5bn lei) contract to Baykar for purchasing TB2 UAVs, making it the second EU country and the third European NATO member, after Poland and Turkey, to order these combat drones. 

The Bayraktar TB2, a UAV with medium-altitude long-endurance capabilities, will now see enhanced functionality, enabling it to conduct ISR and armed attack missions with greater precision. The integration programme is set to extend beyond the TB2, with plans to incorporate EDGE smart weapons onto various Baykar platforms.

The Bayraktar TB2 gained attention as it has played a role in Ukraine’s defence against Russian forces. Capable of designating targets and employing laser-guided smart munitions, the TB2 demonstrated its effectiveness in various conflicts, including operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party and People’s Protection Units, and in international deployments such as Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh. The TB2’s strategic advantage lies in its affordability, with a price tag of $1-2m per unit, making it a cost-effective and replaceable asset.