Bayraktar TB2 is a tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system manufactured by Baykar Makina, for the Turkish Armed Forces. While the Turkish Armed Forces describes Bayraktar as “Tactical UAV Class” so as to prevent it from being a competitor to the TAI Anka UAV, international standards would classify it as a Medium Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) UAV Class. With its 650 kg MTOW and 12 meters wingspan platform powered by an internal combustion engine, Bayraktar can fly up to 22,500 feet and loiter for more than 24 hours. Bayraktar tactical UAV was developed by Kale Baykar JV, a joint venture of Baykar Makina and the Kale Group. The UAV is an ideal platform for conducting reconnaissance and intelligence missions. Today, it is the only locally developed UCAV in the Turkish inventory, but the Anka-T armed version of TAI’s better-known MALE UAV is expected to join in shortly.
In June and August 2014 test flights, Bayraktar TB2 reached 27,000 feet altitude and stayed in air for 24 hours and 34 minutes. Bayraktar TB2 has wing span of 12 meters and max takeoff weight of 650 kg. On 15 August 2018, Turkish Land Forces successfully used Bayraktar TB2 in a joint cross-border operation of the Turkish Armed Forces and the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey to kill the senior Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader and board member of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) İsmail Özden in Sinjar District, northwestern Iraq. Bayraktar TB2 successfully completed missions in Operation Olive Branch while operating under storms, heavy rain and snow, heavy fog, strong winds, and turbulence. Baykar’s research and development team provided support to the TSK during the recent hostilities in Syria and carried out “many software and electronic updating processes” to ensure smooth UAV operations. According to official sources, the BTB2 drones carried out 382 sorties lasting 4,916 flight hours and dropped weapons on 49 occasions. On another 680 occasions, they found and designated targets for ensuing kinetic action by Turkey’s T129 ATAK helicopters, F-4 and F-16 tactical fighters as well as artillery.
On 17 December 2015, missile system of Bayraktar TB2 UCAV was successfully tested. In the tests, long-range anti-tank missile UMTAS (diameter: 160 mm; target range: min 500 m, max 8 km) developed by Roketsan was used. Two UMTAS missiles (with each one 37.5 kg) were mounted to the both wings of Bayraktar TB2 UCAV. The 2x2m target panel was (with 100% accuracy and precision) hit from 8 km away and 16000 feet (about 5000m) altitude with laser guided UMTAS missile by the operator pilot in ground station. Thus, Turkey became the 6th country in the world that produces UCAV (USA: Predator, Reaper; China: CH-3 with short-range AR-1 missile; Israel: Hermes; Iran: Shahed 129 with Sadid-1 missile, Pakistan Burraq Ucav with Burq Missile). On 18 December 2015, a video was published for the missile test of Bayraktar TB2. On 8 September 2016 the Bayraktar TB2 recorded its first kill, during an operation against the PKK.
The power plant integrates a 100hp internal combustion engine driving a two-bladed variable pitch propeller. The tactical UAV has a range of more than 150km and can fly at a maximum altitude of 22,500ft. It has a maximum speed of 70kt and endurance of more than 20 hours. Bayraktar TB2 UAV is controlled by a ground control station based on a NATO spec ACE-III mobile shelter unit. The module integrates pilot, payload operator and image exploitation consoles. The station is equipped with rack cabinets, air conditioning unit, NBC filtration system, power supply units, wireless systems and internal communication systems. It features an inverse V-tail empennage and a blended fuselage-to-wing attachment. A single piston engine driving a pusher propeller is positioned between the tailbooms. Most of the airframe parts are made of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and hybrid composites. The BTB2’s standard payload includes a forward-looking infrared and an electro-optical camera, a laser range finder and a laser target designator. The UAV is datalinked to control stations.