Baykar Bayraktar TB3 History

The Bayraktar TB3 is an in-development, dimensionally larger and heavier, evolution of the Bayraktar TB2 line (detailed elsewhere on this site). The TB series is part of the growing Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) capabilities being exhibited by the nation of Turkey as its indigenous industry continues to expand in this field. The TB2, itself developed from the prototype-minded TB1, flew for the first time in August of 2014 and entered service in 2015, seeing operations take place globally across the skies of North Africa, the Middle East, and Lower Asia. In particular, the line has been notable for its successes as an unmanned armed reconnaissance / strike platform in the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan and in Ukraine following the Russian invasion of its neighbor. The TB3 retains the same Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) classification of the TB2.

A first-flight of the TB3 is planned for some time in 2022 with service introduction through the Turkish Armed Forces tentatively scheduled for 2023.

The external form of the TB2 has been slightly revised in the TB3 variant. The fuselage has been expanded for greater internal volume while the mainplanes remain straight, clipped appendages emanating from the streamlined body. A wing-folding feature is given to the mainplanes for improved storage capabilities and supported naval / shipborne, over-water service. The twin-boom tail unit with conjoined, inward-canted vertical fins is retained from the TB2 as is the wheeled, retractable tricycle undercarriage arrangement utilized for ground-running. The optics are held in a "blister" pack / turret under the forward section of the fuselage, giving unobstructed 360-degree views of the action below.

Dimensions of the air vehicle include an overall length of 27. 4 feet, a wingspan of 46 feet, and a height of 8. 5 feet. MTOW is to reach 3,200 lb with the payload capacity rated up to 620lb. Drive power will stem from a single TEI PD170 engine set at the rear of the fuselage in "pusher" arrangement. The avionics set will encompass Electro-Optical (EO) and InfraRed (IR) imaging and accommodate AESA (Active, Electronically-Scanned Array) radar and targeting sensors.

Performance-wise, the air vehicle will have a maximum speed of 185 miles-per-hour and cruise at around 145 mph. If taking the TB2 as a starting point, the TB3 will reach operating altitudes of at least 25,000 feet and fly for over 24 hours.

Structurally, the TB3 will be arranged with up to six underwing hardpoints for the carrying of various precision-guided munitions including anti-tank solutions, anti-infantry mortars, and laser-guided rockets. This will make the newer entry much more tactically flexible than the earlier TB2.

Taking all this into account, the TB3 is set to be larger, heavier, and offer greater performance than the preceding TB2 design. Take-off and landings will be completely automatic and communications set to support both Line-of-Sight (loS) and Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLoS) ranges.

Baykar Bayraktar TB3 Specification

BASICS

Service Year

2023

Origin

Turkey

Status

IN-DEVELOPMENT

Program in Progress.

Crew

0

UNMANNED

Production

1

MANUFACTURER(S)

Kale-Baykar Makina - Turkey

OPERATORS

Turkey (probable)

ROLES

Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)

Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.

Close-Air Support (CAS)

Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.

Maritime / Navy

Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.

Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout

Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.

Unmanned Capability

Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.

NOTABLE QUALITIES

RADAR-CAPABLE

Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.

PUSHER-PROP

Design incorporates rear-facing pusher-prop arrangement, a contrast to the more conventional puller-prop layout.

FOLDING WING(S)

Mainplanes are designed to fold, improving storage on land and at sea.

RUGGED AIRFRAME

Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.

HIGH-SPEED PERFORMANCE

Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.

HIGH-ALTITUDE PERFORMANCE

Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.

EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE

Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.

SUPER PERFORMANCE

Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.

MARITIME OPERATION

Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.

RETRACTABLE UNDERCARRIAGE

Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.

UNMANNED OPERATION

Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.

AUTONOMOUS OPERATION

Design features autonomous flight operations made possible through onboard artificial intelligence or pre-programming.

CAMERA EQUIPMENT

Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS

Length

27. 4 ft

(8. 35 m)

Width/Span

45. 9 ft

(14. 00 m)

Height

8. 5 ft

(2. 60 m)

Empty Wgt

2,579 lb

(1,170 kg)

MTOW

3,197 lb

(1,450 kg)

Wgt Diff

+617 lb

(+280 kg)

MAINPLANE STRUCTURE

monoplane / mid-mounted / straight

Monoplane

Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.

Mid-Mounted

Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.

Straight

The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.

(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Baykar Bayraktar TB3 production variant)

POWER & PERFORMANCE

Installed:

1 x TEI PD170 engine driving a two-bladed propeller unit in pusher arrangement at the rear of the fuselage.

Max Speed

186 mph

(300 kph | 162 kts)

Cruise Speed

146 mph

(235 kph | 127 kts)

Max. Speed Diff

+40 mph

(+65 kph | 35 kts)

Ceiling

31,168 ft

(9,500 m | 6 mi)

Range

124 mi

(200 km | 370 nm)

MACH Regime (Sonic)

Sub

Trans

Super

Hyper

HiHyper

ReEntry

RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

ARMAMENT

Various types to be supported including Precision-Guided Munitions (PGMs), smart bombs, laser-guided rockets, anti-infantry mortars, and the like.

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)

HARDPOINTS

Hardpoint Mountings: 6

Mounting Points

-

-

9

7

5

-

-

-

4

6

8

-

-

HARDPOINT(S) KEY:

X

15

13

11

9

7

5

3

1

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

COLOR KEY:

Fuselage Centerline

Fuselage Port/Wingroot

Fuselage Starboard/Wingroot

Wing/Underwing

Wingtip Mount(s)

Internal Bay(s)

Not Used

Note: Diagram above does not take into account inline hardpoints (mounting positions seated one-behind-the-other).

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