MERSIN, Turkey — Four unmanned ground vehicles are competing to enter service with Turkey’s military under the force’s medium-class UGV project.
Turkey’s largest defense company, Aselsan, is participating in the competition with its Aslan UGV, while Havelsan is pitching its Barkan; Best Group is offering its Fedai; and Elektroland Defence is proposing its Hancer. All four UGVs are fitted with Aselsan’s SARP remote-controlled weapon system.
According to a statement released by Turkey’s top defense procurement official, Ismail Demir, the indigenously produced UGVs have reached the final phase of the competition. The finalists carried out firing tests with their 7.62mm guns, and the contest is scheduled to conclude next month.
“We are determined to show our experience and success in unmanned systems in the air vehicles as well in the naval and land vehicles. Our prototype racing activities, which we started within the framework of our Medium Class 1st Level Unmanned Ground Vehicle Project, carry on.” Demir tweeted June 27.
Demir described five categories on which the UGVs will be evaluated: general inspection, mobility, autonomy, firing and performance. No further details were provided due to confidentiality.
More than one platform may secure a contract under the military project, an industry official who attended the competition for a few days told Defense News on condition of anonymity. Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Presidency of Defence Industries, will ink a deal for the procurement of UGVs with each winner as well as support mass production, the source added.
Havelsan first unveiled the Barkan in February to further the company’s “digital troop” concept, which aims for quicker, more effective battlefield technology. The UGV is equipped with a remote-controlled weapon system, electro-optical sensors and data link systems. It weighs about 500 kilograms and can communicate with UAVs that fly below the clouds.
Best Group’s Fedai (which translates to “Bodyguard” in English) was designed under the supervision of the Turkish military. Fedai weighs 400 kilograms and has a towing capacity of 400 kilograms. Its palette width is 500mm, and it can reach a maximum speed of 10 kph. It also has an operational range of 1,000 meters within the line of sight of its operator and can operate up to 300 meters beyond the line of sight. It has a two-axis gyro-aided stabilized gun system that can carry a 7.62mm gun.
Hancer (which translates to “Dagger” in English) was developed by Electroland Defence over the course of five months. It has a payload capacity of 500 kilograms and can operate for 6 hours after 3 hours of charging. The UGV can be controlled within 1,500 meters of its operator. Hancer’s moving pallet system provides an advantage in rough terrain, and it’s able to handle a vertical grade of 60 percent, a side-slope grade of 30 percent, and ditches that are 60 centimeters across. It can be equipped either with a 7.62mm remote weapon system or 40mm grenade launchers.
Aselsan did not provide specifications for its Aslan offering (which translates to “Lion” in English), but the system is similar to its competitors, as they are in the same class of unmanned ground vehicles. Aselsan has also developed the Kaplan family of UGVs, which the Turkish military uses to neutralize explosive threats, and the company used the technology as a basis for the Aslan system. Aslan can be controlled and transmit data via satellite. For its part, the Kaplan can be fitted with a 7.62mm remote weapon system.
Tayfun Ozberk is a Turkey correspondent for Defense News.