Selcuk Bayraktar stated on Twitter that the brand-new TB-3 unmanned aerial vehicle’s maiden flight is coming soon.
Bayraktar TB-3 is the shipborne and more capable version of the famous TB-2 drone. Baykar has been developing TB-3 to operate it onboard Turkish Navy’s flagship TCG Anadolu, which is reportedly planned to be transformed into a drone carrier after the U.S. broke the partnership with Turkiye on the F-35 JSF project. Baykar announced in early 2021 that it was working on the TB-3, which is an improved folding-wing variant of the TB2.
Bayraktar TB3, with its foldable wing structure, will be the world’s first armed unmanned aerial vehicle capable of taking off and landing from short runway vessels such as the TCG Anadolu. It will be on public display for the first time at TEKNOFEST 2023, which will be held at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport from April 27 to May 1.
Here are the general characteristics of TB-3 compared with TB-2:
|Length||8.35 m||6.5 mt.|
|Height||2.6 m||2.2 mt.|
|Wing span||14 m||12 mt.|
|Max take-off weight||1,450 kg||700 kg|
|Payload capacity||280 kg||150 kg|
|Maximum speed||160 knots||120 knots|
|Cruise speed||125 knots||70 knots|
The company didn’t share information about the weapon portfolio, but it’s expected to be slightly wider than TB-2 Bayraktar.
You can read details on how TCG Anadolu will recover and launch drones here.
In an interview with CNN Turk, the head of the Turkish Defense Agency (SSB), Mr. Ismail Demir, stated that TB3 will take to the air later this year. He also emphasized that the KIZILELMA unmanned fighter jet and the HURJET indigenous jet training and light combat aircraft will be deployed aboard TCG Anadolu. He also gave some information about TCG Anadolu’s drone-carrying capability.
“TCG Anadolu can deploy 30 drones in the current version. However, this capacity can be increased to 100 if the well deck is used.”
Ismail Demir, Head of SSB