Bayraktar TB2, Turkey’s first original and domestically made UCAV (unmanned combat aerial vehicle), successfully completed over 400,000 operational flight hours, setting a new record. The recent milestone adds to the list of achievements set by the tactical drone, making it the longest-serving national aircraft in the sky.
Developed by Turkish UAV manufacturer Baykar Technologies, the Bayraktar TB2 is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE), Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capable of conducting Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and armed attack missions.
Since 2014, it has kept carrying out missions successfully within the Turkish Armed Forces, Gendarmerie, and the Turkish National Police. The tactical drone comes with an onboard avionic suite with a triple-redundant avionic system that encompasses units enabling a fully autonomous taxiing, take-off, landing, and cruise. The drone has a communication range of up to 300 km (186 miles), can reach a maximum altitude of up to 27,000 feet, and carry a maximum payload of 331 lbs (150 kg).
Powered by a 105 Hp internal combustion injection engine, TB2 can fly pretty fast and reach the maximum speed of 120 knots (222 km/h). The Armed UAV Bayraktar TB2 is a multi-purpose platform as it can perform Target Acquisition using the onboard laser designator. Not only that, but it is also capable of eliminating the target using its payload consisting of four smart munitions.
Additionally, Bayraktar TB2 holds the record in Turkish aviation history for endurance, flying non-stop for 27 hours and 3 minutes in challenging geographical and climatic conditions such as high temperatures and sandstorms. It also broke the altitude record for its class with 27,030 feet. Recently, the aircraft has set another record, completing over 400,000 operational flight hours.