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Bayraktar TB3 UCAV passes first ski-jump test

Baykar's Bayraktar TB3 UCAV successfully completed its first ski-jump test under conditions similar to that of TCG Anadolu on 1 June 2024. (Baykar Technology)

The Bayraktar TB3 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) under development for the Turkish Navy's new multi-purpose landing helicopter dock (LHD) TCG Anadolu has successfully passed its first land-based ski-jump test.

During the test, which was performed on 1 June at the Baykar Flight Training and Test Center in Keşan, Edirne, the aircraft successfully completed its take-off in all four attempts, Baykar said.

The runway at the centre has been built to the same specifications as that of Anadolu and features a 12° ramp.

The latest test is the airframe's 46th flight overall and marks the beginning of the final phase of testing before the Bayraktar TB3 embarks on Anadolu, Baykar said.

The aircraft was relocated to Keşan to start ski-jump testing in mid-May after successfully completing all low-altitude, medium-altitude, and high-altitude performance and system identification tests at the Akinci Flight Training and Test Center in Çorlu, northwestern Turkey.

Over the course of flight tests to date, TB3 has logged 395 hours and 43 minutes of flight time, Baykar said. Among its test milestones, on 27 October 2023 the aircraft performed its maiden flight and during an endurance test on 20 December 2023 the aircraft remained airborne for 32 hours and covered a distance of 5,700 km. On 26 March 2024 it completed its first flight integrated with Aselsan's Aselflir-500 electro-optical reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting system.

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