The Turkish Defence Industries on Sunday announced that they have been working on deploying a new Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV) after Turkey was removed from the F-35 project by the US following its purchase of Russian air defence systems.
President of Defence Industries, Ismail Demir, said they have been collaborating with Turkish defense company Baykar Defence on deploying the ‘TB-3 Bayraktar’ UCAV on Turkey’s future Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Anadolu instead of the F-35B aircraft which has vertical take-off and landing capability.
“I guess you wonder about the TB-3 drone. We are pretty sure that this project will contribute to the power of the Turkish Navy, and the project will not last long. TB-3 will not be a vertical landing aircraft; it will land and take off like other shipborne aircraft operating on an aircraft carrier,” Bayraktar said.
He added that TB-3 UCAV will carry CATS (Common Aperture Targeting System) electro-optical system.
The US removed Turkey from the F-35 jet partnership programme in July 2019 after Ankara purchased Russia’s S-400 air defence system, setting a course which severely damaged relations between the NATO allies.