Tech 

Bayraktar TB2 drones have been picked up by the army. Good buy, let the next one come from Poland

Today, the 12th base of unmanned vehicles in Mirosławiec, Poland received 6 pieces of the world-famous Bayraktar TB2 drone. Machines delivered under contract signed in 2021. This is a necessary purchase, but the next one will hopefully be for Polish drones.

Patching the Turkish hole

It will be no secret to anyone who has been interested in the Polish military that chronic underinvestment has resulted in a large number of holes in our military system today. Chronic underinvestment in the arms industry meant that even where we had the competence, the products needed by the military were often not created.

Although our industry proposed to enter this type of work in the field of Bayraktar-class drones, in the end nothing came of it. And then there were a few conflicts that showed that this type of observation and combat machine is very useful on the battlefield (although the TB2’s capabilities are exaggerated in the media). As we do not have our own machine of this type, it is hard to criticize the purchase of Bayraktars, especially when the Turks deliver their machines really quickly.

I will also say that when the war broke out in Ukraine and it was not known how much Russia would suffer, it was quite reasonable to try to get involved in Ukrainian-Turkish cooperation in this field under license. However, now that it is known that Russia will have to lick its wounds for a long time and rebuild its military potential even longer, I hope that the Turkish purchase will be dealt with as presented, purely interventionist and we will start co-financing domestic projects.

There are many of the latter, as was seen at the last MSPO fair in Kielce. Importantly, some of them have followed the new drone trends and offer vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability useful in the field. Of course, it is not worth losing the Ukrainian direction from the radar, their companies have many components (eg engines) that can allow our companies to overcome several problems.

Bayraktar TB2

Launched in 2014, the Bayaktar TB2 is a fairly large machine, 6.6 meters long with a wingspan of 12 meters. Its take-off weight is 650-700 kg, and its 300-liter tank allows it to stay in the air for up to 27 hours. Powered by a single Rotax engine, the drone is no speed demon, its cruising speed is around 130 km/h and the maximum speed is 220 km/h. Bayraktar has 4 nodes for hanging MAM-L and MAM-C laser guided bombs.

Poland signed a contract to buy them on May 24, 2021, and we ordered four independent unmanned systems. Each of them will consist of:

  • 6 Bayraktar TB2 drones
  • 3 ground control stations (each for 3 operators)
  • antenna assembly
  • simulator
  • parts inventory
  • stockpile of bombs

The drones are to be equipped with Leonardo SAR radars, but this purchase is being conducted in a separate procedure. All kits are expected to reach us by the end of 2024 and the first has now been handed over. They will still have to pass final acceptance tests before they are officially accepted into service. According to the information on the website of the Polish army, these will take place in the coming weeks.

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