Djibouti appears to have become the latest customer for Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Two of the UAVs, on lowbed trailers, took part in the country’s 45th independence day parade on 27 June. They featured Djibouti Air Force markings and one was fitted with two Roketsan MAM-L smart micro munitions.
Jane’s reports that the delivery is likely recent, as flight tracking services recorded an Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft flying between Turkey and Djibouti in early June.
The aircraft’s manufacturer Baykar shared photos of the aircraft at the parade, Tweeting “We celebrate the 45th independence anniversary of Djibouti, a friendly and brotherly country.”
Djibouti is the latest African Bayraktar TB2 operator after Niger, which received six of the UAVs in May after a November 2021 order for the type.
Turkey has sold its Bayraktar TB2 to Ethiopia, Ukraine, Morocco, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Poland.
The Bayraktar TB2 has a cruising speed of 130 km/h with an operational altitude of 7 300 metres and 27 hours endurance (communications range is around 300 km). The 12 metre wingspan aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 700 kg and can carry a 150 kg payload. It is powered by a Rotax 912 engine and can be fitted with a swappable electro-optical/infrared/laser designator or multi-purpose AESA radar.
The Bayraktar TB2 is used operationally by the Turkish Armed Forces and is able to employ MAM and MAM-L guided munitions and UMTAS missiles (four munitions can be carried at a time).
It has been proven in combat by Turkey in Syria and Libya, where Turkey backed the Tripoli-based government against eastern forces supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
In Nagorno-Karabakh, the UAVs helped Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan defeat Armenia-backed forces, and in Ukraine the Bayraktar TB2 has been used successfully against Russian invaders.