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Turkey Signs Contract for First National Drone

Oct. 30, 2013 - 01:45PM   |  
By BURAK EGE BEKDIL   |   Comments
ANKA Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV System provides the Turkish Army with a long-endurance and persistent ISR capability.
ANKA Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV System provides the Turkish Army with a long-endurance and persistent ISR capability. (Turkish Aerospace Industries)
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ANKARA — After a lengthy delay, the Turkish government signed a critical contract for the acquisition of an initial batch of 10 drones that Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) locally designed, developed and will manufacture.

Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), announced Tuesday that the contract for the Anka, Turkey’s first indigenous UAV, calls for the deliveries of 10 aircraft and ground stations to start in 2016. SSM did not mention any contract price.

SSM’s chief, Murad Bayar, told Defense News that Turkey would add satellite communications capabilities to the Anka. He said the Anka’s design would evolve over time in consultation with the Air Force about its needs.

SSM and TAI said satcom is considered to be an ideal solution for UAV operations and that it would enable extended-range data capture and transfer.

A TAI official said that during serial production, the Anka would be fitted with MAM, Turkish acronym for a “mini smart ammunition,” a 25-kilogram weapon developed by Turkey’s national missile maker, Roketsan. The official said Anka could carry up to 200 kilograms of weapons.

The Anka passed acceptance tests late in January. The final tests on Jan. 20-21 involved a full-endurance, 18-hour flight, successful auto landing, data link performance at a distance of 200 kilometers under winds up to 45 knots, and night take-offs and landings. The Anka has completed more than 150 flight hours.

The Anka is a medium-altitude, long-endurance drone. Such UAVs usually can operate for 24 hours at an altitude of 10,000 feet. During test flights, the Anka reached an altitude of 30,000 feet.

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