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Turkey: first flight of Bayraktar TB3 drone

By Defence Industry Europe

On October 20, the prototype of the Bayraktar TB3 combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) completed its maiden test flight. The drone took off, conducted a brief flight, and landed at the Baykar Technologies test center in Çorlu.

 

The development of the new UAV project, designated as Bayraktar TB3, was initially announced in October 2020, by the chief designer, Selçuk Bayraktar.

 

On October 20, the prototype of the Bayraktar TB3 combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) completed its maiden test flight. The drone took off, conducted a brief flight, and landed at the Baykar Technologies test center in Çorlu.
Photo: Baykar Technologies.

 

In broad strokes, the Bayraktar TB3 resembles the well-known TB2 but is significantly larger. The configuration features a fuselage connected to a V-shaped tail by two slender beams, with a pusher propeller situated between the beams. It is powered by a domestic 172 HP piston engine TEI PD170. The 14-meter wings incorporate a folding mechanism to reduce the aircraft’s width to 8.35 meters for easier hangaring. The maximum takeoff weight of the aircraft is 1450 kg, with 280 kg allocated for useful payload, including reconnaissance sensors, pods, or weaponry.

 

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Payloads and armaments can be attached to six underwing pylons, each with increased capacity compared to the TB2, enabling the carriage of heavier loads. The landing gear retracts entirely during flight, whereas the TB2 only retracted the front wheel. Data transmission between the aircraft and the control station can occur via line-of-sight radio communication or satellite links. The Bayraktar TB3 offers an extended flight endurance of up to 50 hours, compared to the maximum 27 hours of the TB2.

 

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The Bayraktar TB3 has been designed for takeoff and landing on runways as short as 150 meters, with the intention of future operations from the Turkish aircraft carrier TCG Anadolu.

It’s worth noting that according to Baykar Technologies representatives, the Bayrakar TB3 is not intended to replace the TB2 but rather expands the range of UAVs in the Turkish manufacturer’s portfolio. Serial production of the new UAV is scheduled for 2024.

 

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