The Bayraktar TB3 is a new unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) that is being developed by Turkey’s Baykar company. The TB3 is designed to operate from the TCG Anadolu, Turkey’s first amphibious assault ship, which is expected to enter service in 2023. The TB3 will be able to perform reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence and strike missions with various types of smart munitions.
The TB3 is based on the successful Bayraktar TB2, which has been used by the Turkish Armed Forces and other countries in various conflicts. The TB2 has proven its effectiveness in destroying enemy targets with high accuracy and low collateral damage. The TB3 will have some improvements over the TB2, such as a larger wingspan, a higher payload capacity, a more powerful engine and a foldable wing design that will enable it to take off and land on short runways.
The TB3 will be powered by a domestically produced engine developed by Tusaş Engine Industries (TEI). The engine is expected to be the TEI PD170, which is also used by the Anka-S and Aksungur UAVs. The PD170 is a turbodiesel engine that can produce 170 horsepower and has a service ceiling of 40,000 feet. The engine will also have a reduced infrared signature and noise level compared to conventional engines.
The TB3 will have a maximum take-off weight of 1,450 kilograms and a payload capacity of 280 kilograms. It will be able to carry six hardpoints for various types of laser-guided smart munitions, such as the L-UMTAS anti-tank missile, the MAM-C, MAM-L and MAM-T precision-guided bombs, the Cirit 70 mm rocket system, the BOZOK laser-guided rocket, the TOGAN air-to-surface launched mortar munition and the KUZGUN modular joint ammunition. The TB3 will also have interchangeable electro-optical/infrared/laser designator (EO/IR/LD) imaging and targeting sensor systems or multi-mode AESA radar.
The TB3 will have a maximum speed of 160 knots and a cruise speed of 125 knots. It will have a communication range of line-of-sight propagation and beyond-line-of-sight propagation. It will have fully autonomous take-off and landing capabilities and can be operated from very remote distances thanks to its satellite link. The TB3 will have an endurance of more than 24 hours and can operate in all weather conditions.
The TB3 is expected to enter service in 2024. It will be the first UCAV to operate from an aircraft carrier in the region and will enhance Turkey’s naval power projection capabilities. The TB3 will also be offered for export to friendly and allied countries that are interested in acquiring advanced UCAVs.