MERSIN, Turkey — Turkish defense companies STM and Roketsan unveiled a new loitering munition, dubbed “Alpagut,” at the SAHA defense expo here this week.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the occasion, Ismail Demir, head of the Turkish Defence Agency (SSB), said the new weapon will be effective against targets on land and at sea, including “radar and communications systems, critical facilities such as command centers, and targets of opportunity.”
It weighs 45 kilograms and can be equipped with an 11-kilogram warhead of various types.
Alpagut is envisioned to be launched from aerial platforms in the first phase of the project, though land-launched and sea-launched variants will be manufactured as well. Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicles, including the TB-3, will be capable to carry and launch the drone munition.
In an interview with Turkish media, an STM executive said the company plans to complete all flight tests of the new drone by the end of the next year and achieve operational readiness.
In the meantime, the Turkish defense firm Titra technology, which has been developing Turkey’s first unmanned helicopter, the Alpin, presented its loitering munition named “Deli” (which means “mad” in Turkish) during the exhibition.
Deli is a smaller drone that can be launched by hand or by catapult. It can be operational in less than 15 minutes. Titra’s new drone has a maximum takeoff weight of 13 kg and has a warhead of 3.1 kg. It has a range of 85 kilometers and can fly for about 75 minutes at a navigation speed of 80 kilometers.
Tayfun Ozberk is a Turkey correspondent for Defense News.