Turkey's Baykar develops high-performance, on-board stealth combat drone

Without achieving the effectiveness of the teasing campaign surrounding the presentation of the new Russian light fighter, the Turkish Baykar, Building on the commercial and operational success of its light Medium Altitude Long Endurance TB-2 Bayraktar drone, has also raised the expectation of the presentation of his new combat drone project in an enigmatic video revealing certain parts of the aircraft. The veil has been lifted today on this new device, which currently only exists in digital version, and which has not received an official designation, but which, obviously, has very great ambitions for the manufacturer and the entire Turkish aircraft industry.

For now, information is more than limited about the new drone. Apart from 4 visuals allowing to see its overall appearance and its single-actor configuration, the manufacturer has specified that it will be able to exceed the altitude of 40.000 feet, that its maximum speed will be Mach 1,4, and that its carrying capacity in the hold will amount to 1,5 tonnes, the aircraft being able to deploy air-to-air, air-to-surface and air-to-surface missiles, as well as guided bombs. In addition, the visuals presented shows a turbojet with an afterburner, probably a model derived from the Ivchenko AI-25 from Ukrainian Motor Sich, a structure suggesting a certain form of stealth, as well as the ability to be implemented from the Anadolu assault helicopter carrier which will soon join the Turkish Navy as a flagship, and which was severely handicapped by the exclusion of Ankara by Washington from the F35B program.

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The new drone is obviously intended to be carried aboard the aircraft carrier Anadulu, as well as its probable sister-ship, of the Turkish Navy.

Clearly, Baykar wants to enter, with this program, into a whole different dimension from the one that made its success, namely light MALE drones, endowed with a limited carrying capacity, but particularly inexpensive and effective in combat. Because if the TB-2 Bayraktar, as well as the new twin-engine Akinci, are above all designed for medium and low intensity engagements, the new aircraft, for its part, will offer performance comparable to that of a training and attack aircraft such as the South Korean FA-50 or the Russian Yak-130, having both advanced ground attack capabilities against well-defended targets, and the means to engage the adversary's aircraft and other drones. We will of course have to wait to learn more about the drone, in particular concerning its autonomy, but also its on-board electronics, to get a more precise idea of ​​its operational capacities. It is nonetheless true that the Turkish industrialist seems determined not to rest on his laurels, since he has barely finished testing the Akinci when he is already focused on a new program with ambitions. remarkable.

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