Turkish Navy Started To Operate UAVs

A TAI built ANKA-B unmanned aerial vehicle used by Turkish Navy. Photo: Undersecretariat for Defence Industries.

In April, Turkish Navy started to use a UAV for reconnaissance and surveillance missions. Turkish procurement agency Undersecretariat for Defence Industries released the first photos of the UAV. The craft is an ANKA, advanced medium altitude long endurance (MALE) class built by Turkish Aerospace Industries. According to the company the UAS, performs day and night, all-weather reconnaissance, target detection/identification and intelligence missions with its EO/IR and SAR payloads, featuring autonomous flight capability including automatic take-off and Landing.

The released photos show the UAV,  an ANKA-B equipped only with a CATS (Common Aperture Targeting System) FLIR. It believed that the UAV is leased until units with advanced sensors as described above, will enter into service. The next version on ANKA-S will be controlled via satellite. This feature enables the UAV to performs further away from its base.

The characteristics of the

    • Wing Span : 17.3m
    • Length : 8m
    • Powerplant : Heavy fuel engine (155 hp)
  • Payload Capacity : 200kg (full endurance)
  • Power 9kW

Turkish Navy wanted to use UAV over the seas for many years. The ultimate aim is to combine the data from UAVs with data coming from other airborne, land and sea-based sensors to create a full maritime picture increase maritime domain awareness. With the inauguration of the first ANKA-B UAV, the vision of creating a fuller maritime picture has come one step closer.

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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