The first batch of Turkish-made Baykar Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs) – comprising six aircraft and three mobile ground control stations, as well as ground support elements, diagnostic devices and spare parts – was delivered to the Polish Air Force on October 28.
The UCAVs were handed over to Polish authorities during a ceremony at the 12 Baza Bezzałogowych Statków Powietrznych (12th Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Base), located 5km north of the town of Mirosławiec in northern Poland, which was attended by Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence.
The delivery of this first batch of Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs comes after the first Polish Air Force operators and technical staff successfully completed a flight training course on the type in Turkey in mid-September. The next step of introducing the Bayraktar TB2 system and its associated equipment into Polish service will be the final acceptance tests, which will be carried out over the coming weeks.
Warsaw ordered four sets of Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs (24 aircraft in total) – priced at US$67m each – on May 24, 2021. According to the agreement, Turkish firm and the TB2’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Baykar Makina Sanayi ye Ticaret, will deliver all 24 examples of the UCAV – as well as mobile ground control stations, synthetic aperture radars (SARs) and simulators, along with spares and repair parts and a training/logistics package – to Poland by 2024. As part of the contract, Mini Akıllı Mühimmat-C (MAM-C; Mini Smart Munition-C) and MAM-L GPS/INS and laser-guided smart munitions (produced by Roketsan) will also be delivered to Poland.
In addition, Baykar will transfer technology to Poland, allowing the country to create in-house maintenance capabilities (D-level) for servicing and repairing the Polish TB2 fleet’s airframes, engines, ground control stations and cameras. The Polish Bayraktars are subordinated to the Polish Air Force and will be based at the 12th Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Base, which will be responsible for gaining, gathering, processing, analysing and interpreting information obtained by the UCAV, as well as the distribution of recognition and intelligence information for political and military decision-makers during times of peace, crisis and war at near real-time.