The general technical director of the Turkish defence company BAYKAR, Selcuk Bayraktar, has just announced the date of the first flight of the Bayraktar TB3 SIHA. The drone will fly for the first time after the Turkish aeronautics and technology festival TEKNOFEST, which will run from September 27 to October 1 this year.
According to officials, the Bayraktar TB3, which Ankara says will become the world's first UAV to be deployed on ships with short landing strips, is preparing for its maiden flight.
According to Bayraktar, the Bayraktar TB3 will be "the first UAV to take off and land on a ship. Turkey, the US and Israel are competing to see who will catch up with this first, to see who will do it first," the Turk said.
Selcuk Bayraktar also spoke about the Kizilelma unmanned aerial vehicle, saying specifically that "it is one of the few in the world. We continue to deploy it to this day. I hope it will be available for use in our country in 2024. There is a huge demand on the planet. Bayraktar TB2 has been exported to 32 countries so far. 82% of the Bayraktar TB2 sales revenue was collected from sales in 20 foreign countries. We did it on our own, with our own resources, without receiving a single minute of support or funding."
He went on to say that his company has built 4 unmanned aerial vehicles in 20 years and talked about his goal to make Baykar the best in the world in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles. However, the Turk admitted that Ankara's "friends" are some of the most important ingredients in the success of the company and its drones.
Without any hesitation, Bayraktar stressed how useful Turkish drones proved to be in the war waged by Azerbaijan against the Armenians, adding that "the Bayraktar TB2 destroyed air defense weapons and tanks. The Kizilelma and Akinci will carry even more advanced ammunition and different systems and loads."
Finally, speaking about the Bayraktar TB3, he said that "when we announced this project, about a year later a company from the United States that produces unmanned aerial vehicles and a year later a similar state-owned company from Israel announced that 'we are also working in this field, we will be the first to do it'. Today the Bayraktar TB3 is located in Chorlu. It will make its maiden flight just after the TEKNOFEST festival. It will be the first to take off and land on a ship. We, the US or Israel, to see who will do it first."