Armed Forces

Bayraktar UAVs Received by Poland. What Purpose would They Serve?

Photo. Polish MoD

The first Bayraktar TB2 UAVs delivered to Poland have been presented at the 12th UAV Base in Miroslawiec. The first out of 4 contracted Bayraktar TB2 sets was delivered a few days earlier, for the Polish Armed Forces. It includes six UAVs with three mobile control stations.

Contrary to the widely circulated criticism, related to this procurement, suggesting the TB2 is relatively easy to shoot down on the modern battlefield when fighting a peer-like adversary, the TB2 would not necessarily be used against the enemy armour. The TB2s can also carry advanced and relatively heavy sensors, and offer long endurance of up to 27 hours. This makes the Bayraktar capable of being used in a relay role for the C2 network, or as reconnaissance aircraft feeding data to other assets on the battlefield (rocket artillery, anti-ship missiles, air assets). They may be invaluable during hybrid conflicts, whenever it would not be feasible, or it simply would be too risky to operate manned assets. In a hybrid warfare setting, or during a naval landing operation, with the enemy air defences having limited capability, the TB2 UCAVs may be a perfect asset. This was demonstrated during the fights for Snake Island. During those fights, Bayraktars were lethal attacking the Russian Raptor assault boats, with their capability to attack targets at a distance of up to 8 kilometres.

The first delivery also includes some elements of the ground support system, maintenance diagnostics hardware, and spares. The systems are expected to begin operations in a few weeks, since the Polish operators and instructors have already received their training a few weeks back, in Turkey. The soldiers who went to Turkey come from the 12th UAV Base in Miroslawiec, and the Center for Aviation Engineering Training in Dęblin.

Final handoff tests would be the next step in the process of commissioning the Bayraktar TB2 system in the Polish Armed Forces - expected to be completed during the upcoming weeks.

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Bayraktar TB2 is a tactical UAS capable of executing ISR and combat sorties, involving guided munitions carried on four underwing hardpoints. The TB2 features avionics that allows for a fully automated taxi, take-off, cruise, and landing. The drone is 6.5 meters long and has a wingspan of 12 meters. Its flight endurance is defined as up to 27 hours. The take-off weight is 650 kilograms, and the top speed is 220 kph. The agreement signed also covers the procurement of MAM-L and MAM-C laser-guided munitions that would make it possible to perform tactical mission sets across the whole spectrum, in line with the system's purpose.