Ukraine Gets Turkish Military Drone Gift After Lithuanian Fundraising Effort

Baykar Tech donates a Bayraktar TB2 drone and requests the money Lithuanians raised be used instead for humanitarian aid.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
Expertise Processors, semiconductors, web browsers, quantum computing, supercomputers, AI, 3D printing, drones, computer science, physics, programming, materials science, USB, UWB, Android, digital photography, science. Credentials
  • Shankland covered the tech industry for more than 25 years and was a science writer for five years before that. He has deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and more.
Stephen Shankland
A Bayraktar TB2 military drone flying in a blue sky

A Bayraktar TB2 military drone

Getty Images

Three days after a Lithuanian crowdfunding effort raised $5.4 million to buy Ukraine a Bayraktar TB2 drone, the Turkish company that makes the unmanned military aircraft said Thursday it's donating one for free instead.

The drone maker, Baykar Tech, requested in a tweet that the Lithuanian effort's funds raised be used instead for humanitarian work. But at least some of the money will still go toward the military effort.

"For the gathered money we will buy the needed ammunition for the Bayraktar and the rest of money will also go for support of [Ukraine]," Ukrainian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas tweeted in response on Thursday, thanking Turkey.

The Bayraktar TB2 has been an important part of Ukrainian military drone use after Russia invaded the country in February, helping to counter Russia's massive invasion force with attacks on heavy artillery. TB2s, with a 39-foot wingspan, can launch up to four laser-guided bombs and fly for 27 hours.

Ukrainians also have used small commercial drones for surveillance and for dropping smaller explosives on the Russian military. Many of those smaller drones, including dozens of DJI Mavic 3 models, were purchased through a Ukrainian foundation called Come Back Alive that uses donations to purchase supplies for the Ukrainian military.