Saudi contract for Turkey's Karayel tactical UAS

Saudi Arabia announces UAV procurement – link

Source: Jane’s

Article Headlines

  • Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) announced on 27 April that the country was procuring six unmanned systems from local firm Intra Defense Technologies for delivery in 2021, and a further 40 systems within five years
  • The type of UAV was not disclosed in the Tweet from the organization’s official account, but Intra advertises the Karayel tactical UAV, developed by Turkey’s Vestel
  • The Karayel has an endurance of 20 hours at 18,000 ft and a cruise speed of 60-80 knots
  • Maximum payloads for the platform are 70 kg under the fuselage and 60 kg per wing across a total of four hardpoints
  • The platform’s datalink range is 200 km from the GCS
  • A platform shown at the Dubai Airshow was armed with Roketsan MAM-L and MAM-C munitions
  • The UAV was also shown with a Hensoldt Argos II EO/IR pod to provide day-and-night surveillance capabilities

Overview & Comments

  • The Karayel is believed to have already been used operationally by Saudi Arabia as the UAV was downed over Libya last December thus, probably, operated by Intra Defense Technologies itself as the company offers “end-to-end” UAV surveillance and reconnaissance services
  • Regarding Turkey’s export achievements, Turkey’s fast growing UAS industry is a one to be admired but more so should be followed closely
    • On the international market the Bayrakter TB2 was purchased by Ukraine and Qatar
    • TAI recently announced its first export of the Anka-S to Tunisia
  • Currently, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has partnered with UAVOS on developing the Saker-1B MALE system
  • See “UAVOS, KACST Developing Flight Control System for Multi-Mission, Multi-Domain UAS” 
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