Turkish drone maker Baykar Technologies conducted the first flight of its carrier-based combat drone, the Bayraktar TB3.
The first takeoff and landing test took place at the Çorlu Flight Training and Test Center in northwestern Turkey.
The Bayraktar TB3 is a carrier-capable armed unmanned aerial vehicle system and, as such, was designed with foldable wings. Slightly larger than its land-based predecessor, the Bayraktar TB2, the TB3 will also offer an increased payload capacity of up to 280 kilograms.
The unmanned aircraft was first announced in October 2020 and is planned to eventually operate from the TCG Anadolu amphibious assault ship. The next stage of the test campaign will be to land the drone on the warship.
The TB3 should fly alongside the Bayraktar Kizilelma, a carrier-capable “unmanned fighter jet.”
The TCG Anadolu was initially expected to carry US-made F-35B fighters before Turkey’s exclusion from the Joint Strike Fighter program for acquiring Russian S-400 missile systems.