9.12.2019

The Akinci - Turkey's largest UAV takes flight

Turkey’s Latest Armed Drone Akinci Completes First Test Flight – link

Source: Defense Aerospace

Akinci is Turkey’s latest and largest armed drone, and is also the first to be twin-engined; according to its manufacturer, Baykar, it has a payload of 1.5 tonnes and a 24-hour endurance at 40,000 feet. (Baykar photo)

Article Headlines

  • The Akinci carried out its first flight, lasting 16 minutes
  • Manufactured by Baykar Makina the Akinci obtains two turbine engines with a 1.5 tonne useful load capability
  • Developed to eventually fly at an operational altitude of 40,000′ for 24 hrs the UAV can be armed with various weapons and controlled by SATCOM datalink
  • The Akıncı will also be equipped with an electronic support pod, air-to-air radars, barrier-identification radar, synthetic aperture radar and meteorological radar – all designed and developed in Turkey
  • The system is expected to officially start serving Turkey security forces later in 2020

Overview & Comments

  • The new Akinci is a genuine statement by the Turkish industry regarding its rightful place among leading UAS manufacturers
  • Only a decade ago the country was still buying & leasing systems form foreign countries while today there are two leading companies, Turkish Aerospace Industries and Baykar Makina, which their MALE systems are fully operational
  • On the international market the Bayrakter TB2 was purchased by Ukraine and Qatar
  • TAI is aggressively marketing its Anka system to potential users such as Indonesia and other South Eastern Asian countries and almost sealed a contract in Egypt before the last change in regimes
  • Even when taking in consideration the vast experience gained by previous systems, developing one in the magnitude of the Akinci is no easy task especially in today’s very competitive market making Baykar Makina another competitor in an already tight arena with an aggressive US push from the West, sweeping sales of Chinese systems from the East, regional developments such as the EuroMALE and a deep grip by Israeli systems in their legacy markets
  • See TAI’s “New Turkish large UAV to enter service in 2020”

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