New UAV For Turkish Navy

Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) will soon publish a request for information (RfI) for a  vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned aircraft capable of operating from ships.

According to information on daily Hürriyet the aim is to have an unmanned helicopter which will be stay airborne for 10 hours with a range of 180 km. The UAV is expected to be able to carry a payload between 50 -150 kg. The UAV should be able to land and launch vertically from a narrow platform on a moving vessel.

20 to 30 vehicles are planned for the initial production. A Turkish company will be the prime contractor for this project. If the information giving in the daily is correct converting an existing manned helicopter into an unmanned systems is also acceptable.

The new UAV is intended to used on board of the LPD when the ship is finished. Later the UAV’s will be deployed on board of the smaller vessels as frigates and corvettes.

The requirements for the future Turkish UAV mentioned, are similar to the capabilities of US Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned aircraft. After the initial combat experience of this UAV in Libya, interestingly US Navy started a program to convert Bell 407 helicopter airframes into an unmanned system to meet an urgent operational requirement.

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