After the combat success demonstrated by the Baykar Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) in the ongoing Ukraine war, Turkey, with a burgeoning drone manufacturing industry, has released the first images of its brand-new Bayraktar TB3 unmanned combat aerial vehicle. Private Turkish defence company specialising in drones, Baykar has showcased its Bayraktar TB3 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) ahead of its upcoming first flight. The Bayraktar TB3 will fly alongside the Bayraktar Kizilelma, a carrier-capable “unmanned fighter jet.” Incidentally, Turkish President Erdogan posted a photo on his social networks in front of the Bayraktar Kizilelma on the same day when the images of the TB-3 drone were released.
The Baykar Bayraktar TB3 is a Turkish medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) capable of short-range landing and take-off, produced by Baykar. It is currently being developed due to the lack of aircraft to be deployed on 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. The development of the TB3 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was first announced in 2020. The Turkish TCG Anadolu amphibious assault vessel has been designated as the planned operational base for the unmanned aircraft.
The cutting-edge TB3 is the latest version of Turkish manufacturer Baykar’s powerful TB line of assault drones. The TB3 is larger than the TB2 . The new TB3 UAV has a payload capacity of 280 kilograms, which is significantly higher than the payload capacity of TB2 at 150 kilograms. While the TB2 can travel at a maximum speed of 70 to 120 knots, the TB3 can cruise at 125 to 160 knots. The TB3’s maximum takeoff weight is 1,450 kilograms, almost double of TB-2’s 700 kilograms. It has a length of 8.3 meters, a height of 2.6 meters, and a wingspan of 14 meters. In contrast, the TB2 has a length of 6.5 meters, a height of 2.2 meters, and a wingspan of 12 meters. The TB3 is said to have an endurance of 24+ hours, according to the official website.
The Bayraktar TB3 is an unmanned combat aerial vehicle, currently being developed indigenously by Baykar and capable of takeoff and landing on short runway aircraft carriers. Besides reconnaissance/surveillance and intelligence missions, the Bayraktar TB3 UCAV can launch an assault operation with the smart munitions stationed under its wings. More extensive testing of the TB3 is still required, especially regarding how well it performs in naval warfare. The Bayraktar TB3 can conduct armed operations overseas due in part to custom capabilities, like foldable wings that enable use on aircraft carriers. The Bayraktar TB3 can be operated from very remote distances thanks to its Line-Of-Sight and Beyond-Line-Of-Sight communications capabilities.