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Turkiye’s Latest UCAV, Bayraktar TB3 Conducts Maiden Flight, To Operate From TCG Anadolu

Together with the unmanned combat aircraft "Kizilelma," the Bayraktar TB3 will become the primary asset operating from the world's first drone carrier, the TCG Anadolu, providing Turkey with the capability to operate far from its maritime borders. This aligns with Turkey's aspirations to become a major player in regional affairs, especially in Mediterranean issues.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — In conjunction with Turkey’s 100th anniversary, the country’s latest Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), the Bayraktar TB3, which will operate from the world’s first drone carrier, the TCG Anadolu, recently successfully conducted its maiden flight.

With a length exceeding 250 meters and a weight of 27,000 tons, the TCG Anadolu is a Landing Helicopter Deck (LHD) that has been modified to become the world’s first drone carrier.

The largest ship in the Turkish Navy was commissioned last April.

Selcuk Bayraktar, the Chief Technology Officer of Baykar Technology, confirmed the maiden flight of the Bayraktar TB3 UCAV, the latest variant of the globally renowned Bayraktar TB2, which has achieved significant success in various conflicts worldwide, including Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh.

“On Turkey’s 100th anniversary, the Bayraktar TB3 UCAV has successfully conducted its maiden flight,” he said in a video on the X platform (formerly known as Twitter).

Bayraktar

The Bayraktar TB3 UCAV is expected to enter mass production next year and begin operations on the TCG Anadolu in the same year.

The latest UCAV, the Bayraktar TB3, which is a Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) drone, completed its maiden flight at the Corlu Flight Training and Test Center.

 It is a UCAV with foldable wings, allowing it to be the world’s first drone capable of taking off and landing from a ship. In addition to operating from aircraft carriers, the STOL drone is also capable of operating from short runways in urban areas or remote locations.

Together with the unmanned combat aircraft “Kizilelma,” the Bayraktar TB3 will be a key asset operating from the TCG Anadolu, providing Turkey with the capability to operate far from its maritime borders.

 This aligns with Turkey’s aspirations to become a major player in regional affairs.

Anadolu
TCG Anadolu

 

The unmanned combat aircraft “Kizilelma,” which completed its maiden flight last year, is capable of performing various missions and operations, including Close Air Support (CAS), guided munition strikes, Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), and Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD).

The TCG Anadolu LHD was originally supposed to operate fifth-generation F-35B aircraft (Vertical Short Take Off and Landing – VSTOL), which Turkey intended to acquire.

 However, due to Turkey’s decision to purchase the Russian S-400 “Triumf” air defense system, the United States removed Ankara from the list of F-35 user countries.

Faced with this decision, Turkey modified the role of the TCG Anadolu, turning it into the world’s first drone carrier.

Since Turkey transformed the TCG Anadolu into the world’s first drone carrier, many other countries around the world have begun to follow Ankara’s lead.

Kizilelma
Kizilelma unmanned fighter jet.

 

As for the technical specifications of the Bayraktar TB3 UCAV, it has a wingspan of 14 meters and a body length of 8 meters.

With a Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) of 1,450 kg and powered by a 172-horsepower PD170 engine, the Bayraktar TB3 can fly up to 2,000 km and operate continuously for 24 hours.

 It has six hardpoints under its wings to carry various weapon systems, including anti-tank guided munitions, laser-guided rockets, and smart bombs.

In addition to performing attack missions, the Bayraktar TB3 also serves as an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) asset with its Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) communication system. — DSA

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