Turkey is going even further with the Bayraktar TB3 project, which is larger and heavier than its predecessor.
Since receiving the first Bayraktar TB2 export order for Qatar in 2018, Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 has proven itself everywhere it appears. According to some sources, Bayraktar TB2 has an estimated price of 2 million dollars each, Turkish armed drones are expected to boost exports to many countries.
Turkey is going even further with the Bayraktar TB3 project, which is larger and heavier than its predecessor. The project is being developed with the vision of a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicle, capable of short-range landing and take-off for deployment on board the TCG Anadolu amphibious assault ship. According to the initial plans the ship was expected to be equipped with Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II fighter jets, but following the removal of Turkey from the procurement program, the vessel entered a modification process to allow it to be able to accommodate UAVs.
According to Baykar’s Chief Technology Officer Selçuk Bayraktar, the first flight of the Bayraktar TB3 will occur in 2022, and will officially enter service in 2023. Basically TB3 is a Navy version of TB2. A wing-folding feature is given to the mainplanes for improved storage capabilities and supported shipborne service. The fuselage has been expanded for greater internal volume while the mainplanes remain straight, clipped appendages emanating from the streamlined body.
Bayraktar TB3 has a take-off weight of 1.45 tons, 24-hour airtime, 6 weapon stations, and the ability to operate at high altitudes. The UAV has a wingspan of 14 meters, just over 8 meters long, and 2.6 meters high. The maximum speed that develops during the flight reaches 300 km/h, while the cruise speed is 232 km/h, and can carry a payload of 280 kg.
Drive power will stem from a single TEI PD170 engine set at the rear of the fuselage in “pusher” arrangement. The avionics set will encompass Electro-Optical and InfraRed imaging, and accommodate AESA radar and targeting sensors. The Bayraktar TB3 can be operated from very remote distances thanks to its Line-Of-Sight and Beyond-Line-Of-Sight communications capabilities.
Turkish drone maker Bayka released new details about its newest armed drone, designed to launch from ships packed with unmanned aircraft. TCG ANADOLU will be able to work with 50 to 110 Bayraktar TB3 depending on the configuration. The Bayraktar TB3 can conduct armed operations overseas due in part to custom capabilities, like foldable wings that enable use on aircraft carriers.
According to the manufacturer, TB3 will soon make its first flight, which will be very suitable for Japanese Izumo-class platforms. The folding wings of UAVs will allow the carrier to accept more UAVs than fixed-wing aircraft. Baykar’s general manager for defense, Haluk Bayraktar, said: “China will not want to sell drones to many Asian countries around it, and we offer those countries a better option. Asian countries are showing great interest in our products”.