Lithuania gets fundraised drone for free, from Turkish manufacturer

Inspired by an act of generosity by Lithuanians, a Turkish manufacturer is donating a drone that will go to the war-torn country of Ukraine, Lithuania’s defense minister said Thursday.

Last week, Lithuanians raised €5.9 million in several days to buy a drone for Ukraine. Lithuanian officials had travelled to Turkey to sign a contract with the producer to acquire it.

But the Turkish manufacturer was so impressed by the Lithuanian peoples’ efforts that it decided to donate a Bayraktar TB2 drone for free. 

The Lithuanian government plans to send the drone to Ukraine later this month.

Some €1.5 million of the money raised by Lithuanians will be spent on drone munition, while the remaining €4.4 million would be earmarked for humanitarian and other assistance to Ukraine.

Writing on Twitter, Lithuania’s Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas described the gesture as “unbelievable” and “amazing.” 

“For the money gathered we will buy the needed ammunition for the Bayraktar and the rest of the money will also go for support of Ukraine,” the minister wrote.

Ukraine has bought more than 20 Bayraktar TB2 armed drones from Turkish company Baykar in recent years and ordered a further 16 on 27 January. That batch was delivered in early March.

The Bayraktar TB2 carries lightweight, laser-guided bombs, and they normally excel in low-tech conflicts, having been previously sold to more than a dozen countries, including Azerbaijan, Libya, Morocco and Ethiopia.

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