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Bayraktar TB2’s Barrel Roll, Preparation for KIZILELMA?

Bayraktar TB2’s Barrel Roll, Preparation for KIZILELMA?

During a recent test, a Bayraktar TB2-armed UAV performed a barrel roll manoeuvre, which paved the way for Baykar’s ongoing projects. The barrel roll is a demanding manoeuvre for a platform like Bayraktar TB2 powered by a 100 hp-class Rotax 912 engine. The propulsion system manufacturer doesn’t recommend usage at high bank angles for safety reasons because of the risk of failure in the fuel pump and lubrication systems. Baykar must have made adjustments to injection components to prevent a stoppage. However, some users claim that the Rotax 912 allows barrel roll under controlled conditions and not constantly. The barrel roll manoeuvre involves putting the aircraft in pitch and roll motion at the same time. Thus, the bank angle goes between zero and 180 degrees. Due to its aggressive nature, the manoeuvre is known for being employed to evade enemy engagements, dodging missiles, and avoiding anti-aircraft artillery fire. The TB-2 lacks the sensors that would warn the operator about threatening missiles. The user would not be aware of the attack. Furthermore, this manoeuvre requires a very last-moment operation to deceive missiles. However, it will be possible to integrate some sensors to detect enemy engagements in the future. In other respects, the manoeuvre’s success decreases sharply when the communication lag is involved. However, according to the company announcement, the barrel roll performed autonomously, and this feature would be suitable for use with future sensors. There are two possibilities for performing such a manoeuvre with a UAV meant to fly smoothly. The first possibility is performing pre-tests for the KIZILELMA unmanned combat aerial vehicle. KIZILELMA’s design emphasises high agility with diamond wing-canards configuration and lack of human G-limits. At this point, it would be useful to remember that Selçuk Bayraktar, a Baykar CTO, conducted academic studies on the aggressive manoeuvres of UAVs during his university years. It is likely that Bayraktar TB2 and KIZILELMA bear commonalities in their flight control systems due to being from the same manufacturer. Thus, Baykar might have preferred the less risky Bayraktar TB2 before proceeding with the more valuable KIZILELMA. Baykar CTO Selçuk Bayraktar’s previous statement that Bayraktar TB2 would be a testbed for air-to-air combat tests further supports this. The second one is preparing Bayraktar TB2 for SUNGUR air-to-air missiles’ integration, for which an agreement was signed during SAHA EXPO 2022. SUNGUR, originally developed as a MANPADS, is effective against helicopters, UAVs, and low-flying aircraft thanks to its IIR seeker and 8.5 km range. There are several options for targeting as well. While both are independent of Bayraktar TB2’s flight direction, Bayraktar TB2 will have to turn towards the target quickly to engage. The armed UAV will carry the missile in single pods instead of twin ones.


FNSS