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 could acquire much larger armed drones for shipboard 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. 

photo by Selçuk Bayraktar

Turkey is also developing the jet powered supersonic stealth Baykar Bayraktar Kızılelma UAV. Turkey was forced to adapt UAVs for  shipboard use, after the USA decided not to supply F-35B aircraft. Australia is hosting the development of the Boeing MQ-28 Ghost Bat (aka Loyal Wing-man). The MQ-28 is a similar size and configuration to the Kızılelma, and it may be possible to adapt the MQ-28 for operation from Australian ships.

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