Polish UAVs will get X-band on-board radar with scanning antennas

WARSAW, ($1=4.17 polish Zlotys) – Poland has signed a contract with the Turkish company Baykar Makina for the purchase of 4 complexes with 24 operational and tactical reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles Bayraktar TB2. The Polish military should receive the first complex by the end of 2022, and the entire contract should be fulfilled by the end of 2024. Poland will be the first user of the well-known Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned systems in a new configuration, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express.

Polish UAVs will get X-band on-board radar with scanning antennas
Photo credit: Leonardo

Typically, the “eyes” of these UAVs are gyrostabilized platforms with optical sighting stations WESCAM MX-15 EO / IR from the Canadian division of the American company L3Harris, or CATS systems developed by Aselsan. In particular, CATS has already replaced the MX-15D station on new versions of the Bayraktar TB2.

However, Poland will be the first user of the Bayraktar TB2, which will also be equipped with Italian radars Osprey 30 AESA SAR from Leonardo.

According to the Turkish defense industry portal Savunma Sanayi ST, two such radars will be purchased for each complex. Therefore, each Bayraktar TB2 for the Polish Armed Forces will have the following equipment:

  • 6 Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles;
  • 3 mobile ground control stations Baykar Mobile YKİ;
  • 3 mobile relay stations (to expand coverage);
  • 6 optoelectronic heads Wescam MX-15 EO / IR;
  • 2 radars Leonardo Osprey 30 AESA.

Osprey 30 AESA radar is a special lightweight X-band on-board radar with phase scanning antennas [AFAR]. It also has SAR [Synthetic Aperture Radar] capabilities, route tracking of detected objects, terrain mapping, and weather radar.

The number of antennas depends on the angular coverage that the station must provide. In the minimum complete set with one antenna, the station weighs 28 kg. The configuration that will be used in Polish machines will most likely have 4 antennas to provide 360-degree coverage.

According to the manufacturer, the radar has a maximum range of 200 nautical miles [approx. 370 km] and can detect various types of targets, including nautical.

The radar station can be installed on the Bayraktar TB2 as an interchangeable payload in place of the Wescam MX-15 EO / IR optoelectronic module. It is a popular multispectral system weighing 22 kg, equipped with an HD camera and infrared camera, laser illuminator, and rangefinder.

Polish UAVs will get X-band on-board radar with scanning antennas
Photo credit: Leonardo

It has an auto tracker and four-axis stabilization. Currently, warheads of this type are not available to Turkish vehicles due to sanctions imposed in connection with the use of the Bayraktar UAV by Azerbaijan during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. Therefore, most likely, they will be purchased by the Polish side separately.

Each of the Bayraktar complexes for Poland will have both mobile control stations and repeaters. This allows you to increase the range of control of the drone, which for the latest versions is 300 km.

During the flight, the drone can be transferred from one control station to the next with the ability to respond quickly to the current situation. To this end, Turkey has built a network of control points, and Ukraine plans to create a similar system along the coast.

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