Nigér this past weekend took deliver of six brand new Bayraktar TB2 armed drone from Turkey to boost its counter-terror operations.
The Bayraktar TB2 drones were received in Niamey airport this last weekend, before they will be moved to a more permanent airbase that can accommodate them.
Development of an air base in Niger to accommodate Turkish drones is already under consideration, according to a report from Radio France Internationale. It comes as Nigeria’s authorities purchased 10 small tactical Songar armed drones from Turkey to help in the fight against Boko Haram and other insurgents.
Niger received Six Bayraktar TB2 under a deal signed as the first part of an arms contract signed in November 2020, which also provides for the purchase of Hurkus light attack aircraft, and armoured vehicles to Nigér. The contract also includes training of pilots, image analysis, maintenance, and spare parts supply chain.
Bayraktar TB2 produced by Baykar is one of the two prominent armed drones produced by Turkey [the other being the Anka produced by Turkish Aerospace Industry]. It is cheaper than other Western models, but it has a good performance in key parameters [range, altitude as well as sensors and communication system],
Regarding the Hürkuş light attack aircraft, Temel Kotil, the general manager of Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ), explained on 10 November that the company had received the first export order for the Hürkuş in an interview with CNNTürk, but did not identify the customer. He said deliveries would start in six months but did not say how many have been ordered.
This recent purchase, will significantly improve the country’s air capabilities. The Bayraktar TB2 would be Nigér’s first armed UAV.
Other ground attack aircraft currently operated by the Nigerien Air Force are two Su-25 jets. Other offensive aircraft are two Mi-35Ps, two Mi-171Sh, and three SA342M Gazelle attack helicopters.
The Bayraktar TB2 is able to employ MAM and MAM-L guided munitions and UMTAS missiles.