The russian invasion of ukraine is not going the way moscow intended and one reason for that is a small inexpensive turkish combat drone, ukraines small fleet of bayer actor. Tb2 drones are giving the bear a good kicking, destroying surface to air missile batteries, fuel convoys and other targets vital to russias war effort. The drone first flown in 2014 has destroyed 796 targets in five wars across syria, ukraine and ethiopia. The bayer actor tb2 is a medium altitude, long endurance, male reconnaissance and strike drone. The drone is just 21 feet long with a wingspan of ‘.5 feet, making it smaller than the us militarys mq 9 reaper drone a 105 horsepower. Turboprop engine drives a rearward facing push propeller, giving it a cruising speed of 70 knots and a top speed of just 120 knots. Bayer actor can stay aloft for up to 27 hours and reach a maximum altitude of 18 000 feet. It has a maximum payload capacity of 300 pounds. Bayer actor includes a sensor turret with an electro optical camera, night vision and a laser designator. This allows bear actor to loiter more than three miles above the surface of earth day or night, and give drone operators hundreds of miles away the ability to look down onto the battlefield in real time. Once the operators decide what to strike, they can point the drones laser designator at a target and release up to four rockets and mamc micro munitions. The small laser guided glide bombs are equipped with armor piercing, high explosive blast, fragmentation and even thermobaric warheads, while mamcs are small weighing just 48 pounds.

Each laser guidance means the ukrainians can place them exactly where they want them maximizing their effectiveness, the oryx blog, which is tracking the russian equipment that tb2s have destroyed, has visually verified the destruction of at least six air defense systems, two fuel trains, five howitzers and more Than 20 other vehicles bear actor is rapidly achieving folk hero status, its even had a song dedicated to it. All of this for the reported fly away, cost of just 1 million dollars per drone. Kiev bought 20 tb2s before the war and ordered another 24. Shortly before the russian invasion, in early march, janes, a united kingdom based open source intelligence company reported that turkey had airlifted tb2s to poland, which were then transferred to ukrainian service. The ukrainian military uses the tb2 for several roles, including reconnaissance and surveillance, suppression of enemy, air defenses, sead, destruction of enemy, air defenses, dead and battlefield interdiction. Bayer actors have destroyed russian booth, medium range surface to air missile launchers, paving the way for the surviving ukrainian air force to conduct an air strike. Others have struck russian convoys destroying badly needed supplies, headed to the front lines. Yet another struck a russian train carrying diesel fuel, depriving tanks and armored vehicles of the ability to advance deeper into ukraine. The last role interdicting convoys, headed to the front with food fuel and ammunition, is especially important as russian forces are known to be short on fuel and supplies. Bear actors success against one of the worlds largest.

Air forces is baffling russias air force vastly outnumbers ukraines air force and should have defeated it in the opening days of the conflict. Russias aerospace force has underperformed in ukraine declining to carry out airstrikes against ukrainian air bases and combat air patrols designed to sweep ukrainian forces from the skies. Russian air defense systems, such as the tor and buck, should have cleared the skies of the slow flying bay rafters. By now, it should be very difficult to operate. Bear actors over ukraine, but it isnt and the plucky little drone is making russia pay dearly for its mistakes. The tb2 is fast becoming a legend, as it punches above. Its weight in a war for national survival bear actor isnt the fastest drone, the most heavily armed or even the highest flying.