Poland became the first NATO member to receive Bayraktar TB-2 UAV

Poland has became the first NATO member to receive Turkish Bayraktar TB-2 UAV. The Prime Minister of Poland, Mariusz Błaszczak, handed over the first TB2 unmanned Bayraktar UAV systems to the soldiers of the 12th Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Base,” Poland’s Ministry of National Defence informed.

“There is no modern army without modern drones. Today marks a major stage in the Polish Armed Forces’ modernization. We are starting the process of equipping our soldiers with TB2 Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicles,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence said during the handing over of the first TB2 Bayraktar drones.

“We still strengthen the capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces. Today, we received the first delivery of Bayraktar drones. Next UAV systems will be consistently introduced to the Polish Armed Forces. We use all means to make Poland safe,” he added.

According to the Ministry of Defense of Poland, Poland has ordered four sets with a total of 24 drones capable of carrying various types of armaments. The TB2s for Poland are equipped with laser-guided missiles. The warmachines are equipped with advanced avionics systems that allows fully autonomous taxiing, takeoff and landing.

The Bayraktar TB2 is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial combat vehicle (UCAV) capable of remotely controlled operations. It is manufactured by the Turkish company Baykar primarily for the Turkish Armed Forces. The aircraft is monitored and controlled by an aircrew in a ground control station, including weapons employment. The development of the UAV has been largely credited to Selçuk Bayraktar, a former MIT  graduate student.

By November 2021, the TB2 drone had completed 400,000 flight-hours GLOBALLY. The largest operator of TB2 drones is the Turkish military, but an export model has been sold to the militaries of a number of other countries. Turkey has used the drone extensively in strikes on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets in Iraq and Syria. Bayraktar drones were later deployed by a number of other nations around the world in various wars, such as by Azerbaijan in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, by the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as by the Ethiopian National Defense Force during the Tigray War.

The TB-2 Bayraktar is operated by a large number of countries such as Libya, Qatar, Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, etc.

The Bayraktar TB2 platform has a blended wing body design with an inverted V-tail structure. Thrust is generated by a variable pitch two-blade propeller in pusher configuration. The propeller is mounted between the tail booms and driven by an internal combustion engine located in the body.

The monocoque platform is modular with detachable main items such as wing, tail boom, and V-tails. Fuselage pieces are made mostly of carbon fiber composite with machined aluminum parts at joints. Fuel is stored within bladder tanks and fuel consumption is balanced with solenoid valves.

The ground control station (GCS) is based on a NATO spec shelter unit which is equipped with cross redundant command and control systems. The mobile unit supports three personnel: pilot, payload operator and mission commander. The GCS is equipped with redundant air conditioners and nuclear, biological and chemical filtration (NBC) filtering unit. All hardware inside the shelter is placed inside racked cabinets.

Each operator has dual screens in front along with the operator interface software used for real-time command, control and monitoring.

While the Turkish Armed Forces describes Bayraktar TB2 as “Tactical UAV Class” to prevent it from being a competitor to the TAI Anka UAV, international standards would classify it as a medium-altitude long-endurance UAV.

The price for a single TB2 unit has been estimated at 5 million US dollars, around one-sixth of the US-built Reaper UAV. Baykar has not stated a price, but has republished on its website several news reports about crowdfunding campaigns launched in 2022 in Europe to buy Bayraktar UAVs for Ukraine, all of them fixing a goal of around US$5-5.5 million for the unit.

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