Turkish aerospace firm Baykar has announced the successful flight test of the shipborne variant of its highly-acclaimed Bayraktar TB2 drone.
According to the company, the new drone named “Bayraktar TB3” completed airborne system identification tests and a one-hour flight at the Çorlu Flight Training and Test Center.
It rolled out on a runway in northwestern Turkey, displaying its ability to fold its wings.
Once fully operational, the unmanned system will be deployed onboard the country’s TCG Anadolu drone carrier.
“With their deployment on board, they will become a major force multiplier in overseas operations thanks to their long-term reconnaissance and strike capabilities,” Baykar chief technology executive Selçuk Bayraktar said.
A short-runway-capable version of the TB2 drone, the Bayraktar TB3 includes the locally-built PD-170 engine, which produces 170 horsepower.
Unlike the TB2, the new drone is capable of taking off and landing on ships.
It is also designed to climb to higher altitudes, carry more weapons, and stay in the air for longer periods than its predecessor.
According to Baykar, the TB3 has an operational range of 1,900 kilometers (1,180 miles).
In addition to surveillance and reconnaissance, the shipborne system can conduct air-to-air engagements with the smart munitions stationed under its wings.
Building on TB2 Success
Baykar’s development of the TB3 drone builds on the success of its TB2, which has helped swing conflicts in several countries, including Ukraine.
Previous reports called the Turkish drone the “Most Valuable Player” in the war-torn nation, being credited for the destruction of at least 10 Russian helicopters, six armored fighting vehicles, and six naval ships.
Its performance in Ukraine has also reportedly made the “whole world” a customer of the unmanned system.
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