Turkey's TB3 UCAV to Test on Ski-Jump Before TCG Anadolu

Turkey’s TB3 UCAV to Test on Ski-Jump Before TCG Anadolu

Turkey’s Bayraktar TB3 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) will first perform take-off and landing tests from a land-based runway with a ski-jump ramp before embarking on the TCG Anadolu amphibious assault ship. “Turkey’s TB3 UCAV to Test on Ski-Jump Before TCG Anadolu”.

Navalized TB2 Variant

The TB3 is an advanced navalized variant of the famous TB2 drone, with foldable wings to enable operation from short runways like the TCG Anadolu’s flight deck. Described as Turkey’s first UCAV for ship operations, it made its first flight in October 2023.

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Impressive Flight Testing

As of early May 2024, the TB3 had logged over 327 flight hours in testing, including a 32 hour 5,700km endurance flight. It also flew with a domestic engine and set a Turkish aviation altitude record at 45,118 feet, firmly in the MALE (medium-altitude long-endurance) category.

UCAV-Centric Carrier Air Wing

The TB3 is expected to become a key ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) and strike asset, enhancing Turkey’s deterrent capabilities with its BLOS communications for long-endurance missions. Its rapid development underscores Turkey’s shift towards UCAV-focused carrier air wings alongside the existing TCG Anadolu drone carrier.

Future Carrier Plans

While the 27,436 ton TCG Anadolu is the world’s first vessel designed to operate primarily unmanned aircraft like the TB3 and Baykar’s Kizilelma UCAV, Turkey is planning an even larger 60,000-ton STOBAR carrier with modular decks for potential catapult operations. Concept images show it carrying the TB3, Kizilelma, TB2, ANKA-3 MALE UAV and HÜRJET fighter.

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