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Armed Forces

Polish Pilots Train to Fly the Bayraktars

Photo. Piotr Miedziński/Defence24

The first Polish pilots, operators, and technicians have completed their Bayraktar TB2 UCAV training course, as the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces announced, via its Twitter account.

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The General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces announced, via its Twitter account, that the first group of Polish pilots, operators, and ground crews hailing from the 12th Unmanned Aircraft Base located in Mirosławiec, and tasked with handling the Bayraktar TB2 system, has completed a training course at the Turkish training center maintained by the manufacturer.

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Poland signed the agreement covering the acquisition of Bayraktar TB2 UAVs for the Polish military in May last year. The contract signed in Ankara covers the acquisition of four UAV "sets" (24 UAVs with weapons: laser-guided MAM-L and MAM-C missiles). The contract also covers the delivery of mobile control stations, SAR radars, simulators, spares, training, and logistics.

Furthermore, the MoD announced that a 24-month guarantee is also covered by the agreement, along with a technology transfer for maintenance and repairs of the engines, ground control stations, and cameras.

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The first of the UAV sets would be delivered by the end of 2022, while all of the aircraft are expected to be received by the end of 2024. The cost of a single set is USD 67 million. The above means that the whole procurement had a price tag of around USD 260-270 million. Turkey operates around 180 TB2s. Most plausibly, the release issued by the General Staff pertains to the first group of personnel to be trained.

In early September this year, the 17th Field Airbase Unit based in Gdansk announced that the Armed Forces are looking for an entity that would, via public procurement procedure, tailor the hangar no. 125 building to host the Bayraktars in Mirosławiec.

Technical Characteristics

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 UAV weighs up to 650 kg, with 150 kg of payload. Its top speed is around 220 kph.

The UAVs will be used for ISR and combat sorties. Turkey, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Libya, and Ukraine also procured the type. The UAV in question has also seen combat use in Nagorno Karabakh and Syria.

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