Turkish combat drones multiply commercial successes

The TB2 and ANKA drones experienced tremendous media exposure during the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020, during which, alongside the wandering Harop and Harpie ammunition of Israeli origin, they greatly contributed to the success of the Azeri armed forces on the Armenian forces. Since then, Ankara has multiplied contracts and exclusive negotiations with a view to exporting its precious equipment, contributing to position the country in the top three of world nations in this area, with the United States and China. Indeed, in addition to the Turkish Armies and Azeris, Turkish drones have been ordered in recent months by Ukraine, Qatar, Morocco, Poland and Tunisia, while Bulgaria and Latvia have also started discussions. with Ankara to acquire these systems.

It must be said that Turkish drones, and in particular the famous TB2 from the Baykar company, have arguments to make. With a maximum takeoff weight of only 650 kg, the TB2 is much lighter than aircraft like the American General Dynamics MQ9 Reaper or the Chinese CAIG Wing Loong II, with respective maximum masses of 4,8 tonnes and 4,2 tonnes. . However, the TB2 can still hold the air for 27 hours, substantially as much as its counterparts. Naturally, it cannot carry an advanced arsenal like the 4 AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles implemented by the Reaper, or the 6 HJ-10s from Chinese Wing Loong II. But the Turkish aircraft is equipped with light ammunition perfectly suited to its size, such as the MAM-L and MAM-C precision light air-ground ammunition, respectively 22 and 6,5 kg, and capable of hitting targets at 8 and even 14 km for the MAM-L. The carried warhead does not destroy a tank, but is powerful enough to severely damage it and force it to withdraw from combat. On the other hand, for less protected targets, the damage inflicted can be considerable.

MAM L MAM C Analysis Defense | Conflict in Libya | Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
The success of the TB2 is partly explained by the do-development of light air-to-ground munitions perfectly adapted to the drone, such as the MAM-L (22 kg) and MAM-C (6,5 kg)

However, the TB2 suffers from a major handicap, that of not having, for the time being, a satellite season allowing the drone to be directed beyond the range of "line of sight". However, the Azeri TB2 claimed the lion's share in the destruction of Armenian armored vehicles, fortifications and anti-aircraft systems in the fall of 2020, either by direct strikes or, more often, by guiding strikes by missile or by artillery, contributing to the destruction of more than half of the armored vehicles lost by Armenia in this conflict. In addition, Bayraktar, the manufacturer, announced that the next versions of TB2 will be equipped with a satellite link, but also of a locally manufactured electro-optical ball, after Canadian Wescam has decided to withdraw the export license from Turkey concerning the CMX-15D ball following the Turkish offensive in northern Syria against Kurdish forces in 2019.


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