Ethiopia Revealed to Be the Latest Known Customer of the Turkish Bayraktar Akıncı Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Wednesday, 22 November 2023

Ethiopia Revealed to Be the Latest Known Customer of the Turkish Bayraktar Akıncı Unmanned Aerial Vehicle



On Tuesday, November 14, Selçuk Bayraktar, the chief technology officer (CTO) and chairman of the board of directors of the Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar, released footage of the 6th test flight of the Bayraktar TB3 unmanned aerial vehicle on his X account. In the 20th second of this 1-minute-long test video recorded at the company’s flight training and test center in Çorlu, the Ethiopian flag was seen on a Bayraktar Akıncı with the serial tail number S40. As a result, it appears that for the first time Ethiopia has been revealed as another country which has procured Bayraktar Akıncı unmanned aerial vehicles from Baykar.

It is unknown how many Akıncı drones Ethiopia will procure under the terms of the contract signed with the Baykar firm. However, based on the video, it appears that the Akıncı to be acquired by Ethiopia is an A configuration. While the Bayraktar Akıncı A has 900 HP total engine power with two 450 HP engines, the Akıncı B has 1500 HP total engine power with two 750 HP engines. Baykar is also on the AKINCI C, which has a total engine power of 1900 HP (two 950 HP engines). Bayraktar AKINCI C is expected to make its first flight in the near future.

 Bayraktar Akıncı drone with serial tail number S40 produced for Ethiopia / Image from the video shared on Selçuk Bayraktar’s X account

In recent years, Ethiopia has also purchased Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles from Baykar, which gained popularity as a result of their success in conflict zones such as Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Ukraine. As can be determined from open-source reports, Ethiopia currently operates at least four Bayraktar TB2s deployed at Bahir Dar and Harar Meda Air Bases. To date, Ethiopia has actively utilized these vehicles against the Tigray People’s Liberation Forces, along with Wing Loong unmanned aerial vehicles purchased from China and Qods Mohajer-6 unmanned aerial vehicles manufactured in Iran. Ethiopia will most likely deploy the newly acquired Akıncı unmanned aerial vehicles for similar objectives and operations.

  A Bayraktar Akıncı drone produced by Baykar / From Baykar

So far, Baykar Defense has signed export contracts for the Bayraktar AKINCI unmanned aerial vehicle with eight countries. Aside from Ethiopia, it is known that Azerbaijan, PakistanKyrgyzstan, and Saudi Arabia have purchased Bayraktar AKINCI drones. The names of the other three nations with which export agreements for Bayraktar AKINCI drones were negotiated are still unknown. In recent months, some footage was released on the X account of Libyan National Unity Government Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, indicating that the air force began to employ Akıncı unmanned aerial vehicles. However, it is unclear whether the Akinci unmanned aerial vehicles seen in the clip were purchased by Libya or were deployed to Libya by the Turkish Air Force Command to aid the Libyan National Unity Government in its fight against forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar. It is also important to take into account the claims that Libya has not yet acquired these systems and that the video purportedly depicting the usage of Akıncı drones in Libya is actually from the Turkish-organized EFES-2022 Exercise.

Ethiopia Revealed to Be the Latest Known Customer of ...

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion at the XXIX International Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin on January

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