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Turkiye unveils carrier capable Bayraktar TB3 drone​

byKodefied Staff
November 2, 2023

Bayraktar TB3 drone

Turkiye’s new sea-based drone, Bayraktar TB3 unmanned aerial vehicle, successfully completed its maiden flight on October 27, 2023. (Image Credit: Baykar Tech)

Turkiye’s new navalized Unmanned Combat Aerial System (UCAS), Bayraktar TB3, completed its maiden flight last week marking a significant milestone for the country’s defense industry.

The aerospace and defense tech giant Baykar announced that the TB3 made its first successful flight on October 27, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic on October 29. This development is particularly significant because the TB3 is destined to serve with TCG Anadolu (L-400) class aircraft carrier, which is also dubbed the world’s first drone carrier.

TB3 completed its second flight on November 1. The flight lasted for four hours, Selcuk Bayraktar, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Baykar Technologies, announced.

Destined for the Sea​

Bayraktar TB3 UCAS has been designed to operate from Turkiye’s aircraft carrier, featuring short landing and takeoff capability and foldable wings for efficient storage inside the carrier’s hull. The ship’s air wing will also consist of Baykar’s jet engine-powered UCAS dubbed Kizilelma, which has been designed as per the “Man-Machine Teaming” concept.

Once the TCG Anadolu air wing becomes operational, the TB3 and Kizilelma will “revolutionize the history of warfare – just like our UCAS,” Selcuk Bayraktar said. The TB3 is a navalized version of Baykar’s globally renowned Bayraktar TB2 UAS which “helped swing conflicts in multiple countries, such as Azerbaijan and Libya, and in Ukraine,” according to the company. Turkey’s leading UAS company has signed export contracts for TB2 drones with more than thirty countries, according to Selcuk Bayraktar.

TB3 Capabilities​

The Bayraktar TB3 Unmanned Combat Aerial System (UCAS) is an impressive aircraft with dimensions of 8.35 meters in length, 2.6 meters in height, and a wingspan of 14 meters. It stands out for its extended endurance, capable of flying for more than 24 hours, with a maximum altitude of 30,000 feet.

Turkish TB3 sea-based drone

Bayraktar TB3 sea-based drone capabilities. (Image Credit: Baykar Tech)

With an anticipated operational range of 1,000 nautical miles (equivalent to 1,900km), the TB3 can be deployed to extended ranges. It possesses a maximum take-off weight of 1,450 kilograms and can accommodate a payload of up to 280 kilograms. The e TB3’s mission radius reaches an impressive 2,200km when flying at an altitude of 20,000 feet, underscoring its exceptional capabilities to operate at sea.

The TB3, is larger and heavier than the TB2, featuring six weapon stations and high-altitude capabilities. The six pylons can carry precision-guided munitions, the MAM (Smart Micro Munition) developed by Roketsan, as well as Cirit laser-guided 70 mm rockets.

TB3 key features​

  • Bayraktar TB3 is a carrier-capable UCAS with a corrosion-resistant airframe and foldable wings.
  • It is capable of conducting maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and strike missions.
  • TB3 can fly for more than 24 hours at 30,000 feet and has a higher maximum take-off weight to carry a large payload of weapons and sensors.
  • It can be operated both from very remote and long distances due to its Line-Of-Sight (LOS) and Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) communications capabilities.

Significance for Turkish Defense Industry​

In recent years, the country has emerged as a dominant force in the industry, with Baykar Technologies – and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) at the forefront. The successful flight of the TB3 is a testament to Turkiye’s rapidly growing defense industry capabilities ranging from manufacturing UCAS to fighter jets and warships.

The deployment of TB3 and other UAS on the TCG Anadolu will give Turkey a significant military advantage in the region and boost naval strength to respond to asymmetric threats swiftly and effectively.

Kizilelma jet and Akinci drone

Turkish unmanned fighter jet Kızılelma (bottom) and Akıncı combat drone (top) on display at the technology festival Teknofest, in Izmir, Turkiye, on September 27, 2023. (Image Credit: Anadolu Agency)
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