Wednesday, 23 February 2022

A Monument Of Victory: The Bayraktar TB2 Kill List

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky, Dan, and COIN
Bin atlı o gün dev gibi bir orduyu yendik! - A thousand cavaliers, we beat a giant army that day! (Akıncılar, by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)

The Bayraktar TB2 has changed the notion of how modern-day conflicts are being fought that, now that it has been tried and tested in at least three separate conflicts, cannot be reverted. The fact that a relatively light and inexpensive drone could not only evade but actively search out and destroy modern surface-to-air missile (SAM) and electronic warfare (EW) systems while suffering little losses in return has rightfully garnered worldwide attention. The result of the TB2's entry into combat was a stunning upset of the status quo, forcing many countries to rethink their approach to defence.
Some observers have attempted to downplay the TB2's extraordinary effectivity by disparaging the Armenian military, whose equipment had supposedly been lacking. However, past engagements over Syria, Libya as well as the one in Nagorno-Karabakh demonstrated an ability to take on many of the integrated air defence systems (IADS) modern nations might muster, having successfully combatted systems such as the Buk-M2, Tor-M2, S-300PS and Pantsir-S1 even when used in conjunction with electronic warfare systems like the Avtobaza-M, Repellent-1 and Groza-S. The TB2's performance in the face of these systems, designed to completely deny the airforces of even the most advanced nations the ability to function marked a watershed moment in the history of modern warfare.
The Bayraktar TB2's role was not merely that of a hunter killer, but ultimately even that of a complete ruler over the battlefield. Capable of stalking the location of any ground target and tracking their every move all the while flying in one of the most densely covered areas of air defence, the TB2 could direct other assests to hit ground targets all the while flying circles above them. The Roketsan 230mm TRLG-230 guided rocket can hit targets designated by TB2s; by fitting a laser guidance kit to the rocket. This impressive capability allows the TB2 to strike other targets well after expanding its own MAM-L and MAM-C munitions.
For Turkey, its highly efficient use of the Bayraktar TB2 has boosted its growing foreign policy assertiveness to shape a new foreign policy: Bayraktar Diplomacy. This essentially constitutes a new type of warfare that is uniquely well-suited to the characteristics of modern-day conflicts. Based around small-footprint interventions that seek to maximise both political and military impact at low financial and humanitarian cost, Bayraktar Diplomacy is so effective that it can be said to have decided the fate of nations: without the TB2 the internationally-recognized government of Libya could well have been wiped out and Nagorno-Karabakh would likely still be under Armenian control. 
Behind these impressive feats is a company that not only appears intend on revolutionising modern warfare, but also to change the mindset of a country and offer future generations a chance to follow in the footsteps of success. In the process, Baykar Tech has proved that a nation doesn't need to be a superpower with an unlimited R&D budget to design advanced technology. As Baykar is eagerly pushing ahead the development of the MİUS unmanned fighter aircraft and TB3 carrier-born UCAV, the TB2 is not forgotten either, with almost daily updates ensuring that the design stays ahead of any system meant to counter it. [1]

The year 2021 saw the passing of Özdemir Bayraktar, the founder of Baykar, and Tarık Kesekçi, the performance and analysis team leader of the Akıncı project. Their deaths will leave those left behind with grief, yet they might find support in the thought that their legacy will continue to live on in the minds of new generations. Those inspired by their feats will not only be the future engineers behind upcoming unmanned aircraft designs, but also help to raise Turkey in other fields of technology and science. In this sense, Baykar Tech is transforming not just the country's destiny in the skies, but also in the sea and on the ground.

A detailed list of 890 targets confirmed to have been destroyed by Bayraktar TB2s over Syria, Libya, Iraq, Nagorno-Karabakh, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Burkina Faso can be viewed below. This list only includes destroyed vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available. In some cases this solely consists of footage that was recorded on the ground. In these cases, the use of an armed drone was reported by witnesses on the ground. Therefore, the amount of equipment destroyed is significantly higher than recorded here. Hits on personnel, munition caches, military structures and strategic targets (such as fuel depots struck in Russia) are not included in this list. The list will be updated as additional footage becomes available.
(Click on the numbers to get a picture of each individual captured or destroyed vehicle)

Tanks (127)


Armoured Fighting Vehicles (53)


Towed Artillery (148)

Self-Propelled Artillery (44)

Multiple Rocket Launchers (91)

Anti-Aircraft Guns (2)


Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns (9)

Surface-To-Air Missile Systems (48)

Radars Systems (9)

  • 2 P-18s ''Spoon Rest D'': (1) (2)
  • 1 1S32 ''Pat Hand'' (for 2K11 Krug SAM): (1)
  • 1 1S91 SURN (for 2K12 Kub SAM): (1)
  • 1 5N63S 'Flap Lid' (for S-300): (1)
  • 1 ST86U/36D6 ''Tin Shield'' (for S-300 SAM): (1)
  • 1 19J6 (for S-300 SAM): (1)
  • 1 SNR-125 ''Low Blow'' (for S-125 SAM): (1)

Jammers, Deception And Communications systems (3)

  • 1 R-330P Piramida-I: (1)
  • 1 R-330ZH Zhitel: (1)
  • 1 Unknown communications station: (1)

Aircraft (7)


Helicopters (1)

  • 1 Mi-8 transport helicopter: (1)

Naval Ships (5)

  • 3 Project 03160 Raptor class patrol boats: (1) (2) (3)
  • 1 Project 02510 BK-16E high-speed assault boat: (1)
  • 1 Project 11770 Serna class landing craft: (1)

Logistics Trains (2, of which destroyed: 2)


Vehicles (342)


''We assessed the situation and took the duty upon ourselves.'' (By Özdemir Bayraktar)