March 27, 2023
Turkish drone magnate to unveil sea-based aircraft before test flight
The Turkish defense company behind the pioneering unmanned aircraft that earned fame for its critical role in several conflicts is preparing to show off its latest platform that promises to extend the country’s drone capabilities from land-based to naval operations.
Deployment of Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) has been credited with helping tip the balance of conflicts in Libya, Syria, Karabakh and lastly, Ukraine. This pushed the aircraft’s developer Baykar into the global spotlight and transformed it into a major manufacturer and exporter.
Baykar is also working on the TB3, a short-runway-capable version of the TB2. The new drone is expected to finish its testing phase by the end of 2023, according to the company’s officials.
“The #BayraktarTB3 UCAV, which will have the ability to land-take off from ships with short runways, is counting down the days for its maiden flight,” Baykar wrote on Twitter.
The post came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a visit to the Özdemir Bayraktar National Technology Center, before posing for a photo alongside Baykar’s landmark unmanned fighter jet Kızılelma, with a TB3 seen in the background.
Baykar’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Selçuk Bayraktar said the aircraft would be the first of its kind boasting the ability to fold its wings.
Baykar has managed to sell its battle-proven TB2 to 28 countries, including NATO member Poland. It has also signed deals with six countries for exports of its much larger sibling Akıncı, dubbed the most advanced and sophisticated drone built by Türkiye.