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.