“TB-3 unmanned aerial vehicles. After Bayraktar TB-2, Turkey is ready to launch its ‘flagship’ naval UAVs very soon, according to reports,” says an article by the reputable International Media, the highlights of which are the following:
“TEI, a leading Turkish engine manufacturer, recently announced the delivery of PD170 turbo diesel engines for the Bayraktar TB-3 drone. The TB-3 is the latest version of Turkish defense company Baykar’s powerful TB series of attack drones.
The announcement was made by the Director General of TEI, Dr. Mahmut Faruk Akşit at the “SAHA Expo 2022” exhibition, held October 25-28, 2022.
The general manager said the engines have already been delivered to Baykar, which will integrate them into the new drones. The PD170 engine, according to the manufacturer, is the best turbo diesel aircraft engine in the world.
Akşit emphasized that the TAI Aksungur drone also uses the TEI PD170 engine.
Developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), it can stay in the air for up to 49 hours and has a ceiling height of more than 30,000 feet. The engine produces a power of 126 to 164 kW. (170 to 220 hp).
Akşit further revealed that the TF6000 turbofan engine, which produces 6,000 pounds of thrust, could be used in the Bayraktar Kizilelma (Unmanned Combat Aircraft).
Bayraktar TB-3, which is currently being developed by Baykar Technology, will make its first flight by the end of 2022.
The TB-3 is a naval drone that can be operated from small runways and ship decks, such as from the amphibious assault ship TCG Anadolu.
The TCG Anadolu (L-400), an amphibious assault ship modeled after Spain’s Juan Carlos I, is also expected to be decommissioned by the end of this year.
Turkey also intended to use Anadolu as an aircraft carrier.
Ankara has effectively demonstrated its ability to design and deploy armed drones.
The Anadolu’s deck is said to house between 30 and 50 Bayraktar TB-3 folding-wing drones, capable of landing and taking off.
Can TB-3 mirror the export success of TB-2?
Turkey is not just content with producing TB-3 for its new ship, as it intends, as it did with the TB2, to export it to other nations as well.
In March 2022, Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of Baykar, stated that the upcoming TB-3 would be excellent for Japan’s Izumo class ships.
Experts predict that the TB-3 will initially benefit from the alleged operational success of the TB-2 around the world.
Baykar gained great fame due to the achievements of Bayraktar TB-2 armed drones in the battles in Syria, Libya, Karabakh and Ukraine.
During the initial phase of the Russian invasion, the platform was vital to the defense of Ukraine against armored and anti-aircraft systems.
However, the TB-3 still needs to be tested over a more extended period, particularly in terms of how well it works for naval warfare.
Meanwhile, on October 26, Britain’s defense secretary said Turkey’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have proven to be a “game changer” on the modern battlefield.
Ben Wallace reviewed the Turkish drones on display at the SAHA Expo.
Although Baykar is not Turkey’s only manufacturer of military drones, it is currently leading the country’s effort to export defense technology abroad.
Turkish company Baykar, manufacturer of TB-2 and TB-3, plans to build TB-2 production facilities in Ukraine in the next two years.
Baykar had promised to build its second production facility in Ukraine as part of an agreement between Turkey and Ukraine shortly before Russia’s February 24 invasion. However, the deal is uncertain, as EurAsian Times reported.
The combat-proven TB-2 drone is reportedly being offered to up to 24 countries, including NATO member Poland.
In addition, the company has export deals with five countries for Akinci’s significantly larger drones.
This year, growing orders are expected to bring in about $1 billion in export revenue. The profits will be used to expand its production lines.
TB-2 Company’s current production capacity is 20 units per month. However, the company’s goal for 2023 is to produce at least 30 (units) every month.
Overall, Turkey has already emerged as a strong player in the drone export market. Recently, Turkish Aerospace Industries announced that it is working on the country’s first indigenous subsonic drone.
The subsonic drone could be called Goksungur or Simsek. The Turkish word “gok” means “sky”, while “Simsek” means “thunder”.
The drone is expected to fly for the first time in February 2023 and reach a top speed of Mach 0.7. It is deployed to conduct intelligence gathering and fire support operations.”
From what is mentioned in the article, we particularly highlight the timelines given by the Turks regarding the progress and production rates of some UCAVs of “special interest” to Greece.
In particular, tests of the TB-3 model, which can land and take off on ships with short runways, such as the TCG Anadolu, are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.
Anadolu’s deck will accommodate between 30 and 50 Bayraktar TB-3 folding wing drones, capable of landing and taking off.
Bayrak’s TB-2 production capacity is 20 units per month, aiming for 2023 to increase to at least 30 units per month, typically 1 drone per day!!!
In our previous article, we reported on the UCAV Kızılelma with fighter-like capabilities, which is currently undergoing engine tests and will make its first flight in a few months, and will be able to land and take off on amphibious ships with short runways such as the TGC Anadolu.
The specific Turkish UCAV Kizilelma presents impressive features, since it is fast, has stealth technology and will carry an AESA radar, according to the Turks.
The consequence of the above will be that our navy will have to act as a direct intervention force for TCG Anadolu continuously.
However, in addition to the possibility of being powered by the mini Turkish aircraft carrier, the new Turkish UAVs will be able to operate from the coasts of Asia Minor against our islands, a fact that combined with the load of ammunition they will carry, its characteristics and the short distance of the of our islands from Turkey, make it particularly dangerous.
Finally, the new antidrone system procured by our country should be seen if and to what extent it is capable of dealing with the new threat called TB-3 and Kızılelma (red apple), while its installation on ships of of our navy after proper configuration to deal with Turkish drones.
Especially the latter is considered imperative, since it is a given that Turkey will threaten the ships of our navy with drones, in which case the installation of the antidrone system on them will be another shield of protection in addition to the existing anti-aircraft systems on them.
We conclude by pointing out that the existence of an antidrone system on ships of our navy that will monitor the TCG Anadolu is of the utmost importance, since due to their proximity they will be able to interfere-inactivate the Turkish UCAV TB2 and Kızılelma before they even take off.
In this way, the risk from TCG Anadolu to our islands would be significantly reduced.