Monday, June 06, 2022

Turkish Drones for Australian Aircraft Carriers?

Baykar Bayraktar TB3,
photo from Ali Özkök
The Chinese Navy's southern fleet have released a video showing the aircraft carrier Shandong, with seven drones on the flight deck (Drones deployed on aircraft carrier Shandong,  Liu Xuanzun, Global Times, Jun 05, 2022 09:36 PM). These are relatively small UAVs. However, I suggest Australia should acquire much larger armed drones for shiboard use. These could be the Baykar Bayraktar TB3, which is a shipboard version of the TB2 which has been operating successfully in Ukraine. The TB3 was modified to operate from the Turkish  amphibious assault ship, TCG Anadolu, which is to the same design as Australia's HMAS Canberra and Adelaide. Turkey was forced to develop the TB3 after the USA decided not to supply F-35B aircraft. Australia has not ordered the F-35B for its ships, but even so, the TB3 would complement this capability, by providing continuous surveillance, at a relatively low cost.

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