The Ukrainian Army deployed Turkey-made Bayraktar TB2 drones armed with MAM-C, a high explosive variant of Roketsan’s smart micro munitions (MAM) family, during Sea Breeze 2021 exercises being held in the Black Sea which has over 30 countries participating.
While the Ukrainian Army already has these combat UAVs in service, the Navy could receive some of them this year for use in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Ukraine wants to buy many more Bayraktar TB2s and even plans to establish a facility to manufacture them along with Turkey.
Ukraine is using these combat UAVs for the first time in an exercise of this size.
Following the increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, a Bayraktar TB2 conducted a reconnaissance flight on 9 April 2021, over the Donbas region. This was the first operationalization of the aircraft by the Ukrainian Forces within an active conflict zone.
Ukraine and U.S. are cohosting the annual Sea Breeze exercise that started Monday, with participation and support coming from 32 countries in total: Albania, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Russian media reported that the country’s Black Sea fleet have deployed around 20 warplanes and helicopters, including Su-24M bombers, as well as S-400 and Pantsir surface-to-air missile systems in the readiness tests. Russia has also tested the readiness of its air defense systems in Crimea, amid the Sea Breeze drills.