Two images were shared by Baykar Defense to celebrate Azerbaijan’s victory in the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
One shows a Turkish Bayraktar TB2 Combat UAV, which has a protrusion in the nose, carrying the satellite communications (SatCom) equipment.
The modified UAV is reportedly called the Bayraktar TB2S.
The TB2S, which has been noticed with a change in design, has a structure very similar to the layout of the SATCOM antenna used for satellite connection in UAVs.
Can Azerbaycan; zaferin kutlu olsun!
Eşq olsun Azərbaycan Ordusuna!
Qarabağ Azərbaycandır!#ikidevletbirmillet ????
(? Bayraktar S/İHA Test ve Eğitim Merkezi) pic.twitter.com/a183ime6dn
— BAYKAR (@Baykar_Savunma) November 10, 2020
Through the SATCOM upgrade, UAVs can overcome the range limitation imposed by the line of sight (LOS) connection, and can communicate with the ground control station in a wide area that is as large as the coverage area of the connected satellite and, as a result, can operate at a longer range and at bigger heights.
This is a result of bans on selling Turkish parts in Canada, and Germany, as well as other countries, and some US companies also refusing to sell parts for the Bayraktar TB2. As such, ASELSAN CATS were tested in a short time, and it appears that they were successfully integrated.
The photo shows the ASELSAN-produced CATS FLIR camera, which replaces the Wescam FLIR camera that was recently embargoed by Canada for delivery to Turkey.
The SatCom system is also indigenously developed by ASELSAN.
Since the Bayraktar TB2S UAV has not been officially launched yet, it is likely that the ASELSAN CATS SatCom was using, but there are also other options, such as the one produced by CTech.
The Bayraktar TB2S is a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (MALE-UCAV) or SİHA – Silahlı İnsansız Hava Aracı (in Turkish) and is operated by all branches of the Turkish Armed Forces.
The UCAV was sold to Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Qatar. It has proven pivotal in several conflicts already, not only in the ongoing indigenous fight against Kurdish insurgents, but also during the Turkish involvement in the war in northern Syria as well as the recent conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed area of the Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh.
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