Turkey debuts landmark combat drone Akıncı with upgraded engines
March 3, 2022, 3 p.m.
Turkey’s landmark combat drone Akını drone on Wednesday underwent a successful flight test with upgraded engines that make it the most advanced platform in its class.
Equipped with two engines of 750 horsepower (hp) each, the Akıncı B unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) stayed in the air for an hour and 16 minutes after it took off from the training and test center of its developer Baykar in northwestern Tekirdağ’s Çorlu district, its developer Baykar said.
“Bayraktar Akıncı B met the sky!” the company said on Twitter, along with a video of the test.
A total of 1,500 hp makes it “the world’s most powerful and highest combat-capable unmanned combat aerial vehicle” in its class, Selçuk Bayraktar, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the drone maker, said on Twitter.
The initial model, Akıncı A, the first of which was delivered to the Turkish security forces in late August last year, is equipped with engines of 450 hp each for a total of 900 hp.
Six of them have entered the inventory so far and have been actively used by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), Baykar says.
Akıncı marks the most advanced and sophisticated drone built by the country to date, which has been expanding a fleet that has already proved its success in the field.
The aircraft – whose designs, software, avionics and mechanics all belong to Baykar – is more advanced than the company’s Bayraktar TB2 UCAV, which has been widely used and sold to a range of countries including Ukraine, Qatar, Azerbaijan and Poland.
Export deals for Akıncı
Bayraktar TB2 earned worldwide fame following its deployment in conflicts in Syria, Libya and the Nagorno-Karabakh. It has been sold to 13 countries so far, with many other nations expressing interest in buying the drone.
Its upgraded version is expected to perform its maiden flight this year. Currently, under development at the Baykar facilities, the Bayraktar TB3 will be able to take off and land at Turkey’s flagship-to-be amphibious assault ship TCG Anadolu.
Baykar has also completed an export deal for the Akıncı with two countries, its CEO Haluk Bayraktar said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Deliveries are aimed to be made periodically starting from 2023, according to the company.
Having made its first export back in 2012, Baykar completed $664 million worth of drone sales last year, it says. Negotiations are ongoing with many countries interested in the UCAV.
Akıncı is longer and wider than the Bayraktar TB2 and can perform strategic tasks. It has a 20-meter (65-foot) wingspan with its unique twisted-wing structure and is equipped with fully automatic flight control and a triple-redundant autopilot system.
Akıncı can carry various weaponry, including a range of missiles such as Smart Micro Munitions (MAM-L) developed by prominent Turkish contractor Roketsan.
It can be equipped with the locally produced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and air-to-air missiles Gökdoğan (Merlin) and Bozdoğan (Peregrine).
It is also to launch several other types of locally made munitions, such as the Roketsan-built Stand-Off Missile (SOM), a long-range air-to-surface cruise missile that can hit targets up to 150 miles (240 kilometers) away.
Baykar says the Akıncı can attack targets both in the air and on the ground. It can also operate alongside fighter jets and fly higher and stay in the air longer than Turkey’s existing drones.
The UCAV made its maiden flight on Dec. 6, 2019, before it passed its first firing test in late April last year.
After Akıncı B, an even more advanced model, Akıncı C, equipped with 950 hp each for a total of 1,900 hp, will soon be in the skies, Bayraktar said.
Source: Daily Sabah