Bangladesh Army inducts TB2 UAVs

Bangladesh Army inducts TB2 UAVs

The Bangladesh Army formally inducted the Bayraktar TB2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for the first time in its history to usher in a new era in the development of its fire projection capabilities in accordance to Forces Goal 2030.

The event saw the induction of six new TB2 UAVs to the force with another six under delivery. These armed MALE drones are to be operated out of the Chattogram’s Zahrul Haque airbase to facilitate operations along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and coastal areas in the Bay of Bengal.

The Bayraktar TB2 is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations. It is manufactured by the Turkish company Baykar Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.

The Bayraktar TB2 platform has a blended wing body design with an inverted V-tail structure. Thrust is generated by a variable pitch two-blade propeller in pusher configuration. The propeller is mounted between the tail booms and driven by an internal combustion engine located in the body. The monocoque platform is modular with detachable main items such as wing, tail boom, and V-tails. Fuselage pieces are made mostly of carbon fiber composite with machined aluminum parts at joints. Fuel is stored within bladder tanks and fuel consumption is balanced with solenoid valves.

The ground control station (GCS) is based on a NATO spec shelter unit which is equipped with cross redundant command and control systems. The mobile unit supports three personnel: pilot, payload operator and mission commander. The GCS is equipped with redundant air conditioners and nuclear, biological and chemical filtration (NBC) filtering unit. All hardware inside the shelter is placed inside racked cabinets. Each operator has dual screens in front along with the operator interface software used for real-time command, control and monitoring.

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Each TB2 is configured with six aerial vehicle platforms, two ground control stations, three ground data terminals (GDT), two remote video terminals (RVT) and ground support equipment. Each aerial platform is equipped with a triply redundant avionics system. Its ground control system’s cross redundant architecture allows for pilot, payload operator and mission commander to command, control and monitor the platform.

The TB2 has a triple-redundant flight control system with autonomous taxi, takeoff, cruise, landing and parking capability. The computerized flight control system is the primary component, conducting sensor fusion algorithms with the real-time sensor data. Mission-specific controls are handled through the mission control computer system. The aerial platform is guided through various redundant rotary and linear servo actuators. All of the main airborne avionics equipment, software and hardware are under constant development.

The electronic power supply that powers the onboard systems is supported with triple alternators and balanced, smart lithium-ion battery units. A ruggedized heated camera unit is placed in the tail section of the platform to monitor flight and all payload and telemetry data are recorded to the airborne data recorder. The redundancy architecture of the avionics supports autonomous emergency landings on different airfields if necessary. Sensor fusion algorithms, including an inertial navigation system, allow navigation and auto landing even with loss of global positioning signals.

The Bangladesh Army opted to arm its Bayraktar TB2 UAVs with MAM-L smart micro munitions that have a maximum range of 15 km. These laser guided munitions are manufactured by Roketsan and are effective in destroying targets such as armoured vehicles and strategic targets.

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The Bangladesh Defence Analyst - © 2024