Warplanes: Turks Order Turkish Made UAVs

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March 26, 2013: Turkey recently completed acceptance tests (130 sorties) for its new Anka UAV, and production is to begin on the first order of 30 aircraft (ten systems) for the Turkish Air Force. Each Anka system consists of three UAVs plus ground control equipment and all necessary maintenance and ground operations gear.

Looking very similar to the American Predator, the Anka is a 1.6 ton aircraft propelled by a rear facing propeller. Payload is 200 kg (440 pounds) and endurance is 24 hours, and Anka can operate up to 200 kilometers from its controller. Max altitude is 7,900 meters (26,000 feet). A UAV like this would sell for over $2 million each. The Turkish military is to receive its first Anka by the end of the year. Four months ago Turkey found its first export customer for Anka, with Egypt ordering ten. First deliveries will be in two years. Turkey is already working on a larger (four ton) Anka that can carry missiles or a lot more reconnaissance equipment.

Another Turkish firm made its first export sale (to Qatar) of its Bayraktar Tactical UAV a year ago. This is a 500 kg (1,100 pound) aircraft with a 40 kg (88 pound) payload and an endurance of 14 hours. It enters service in Turkey this year. The price for ten Bayraktars Tactical UAVs sold to Qatar was reported to be $25 million.

There is also a Bayraktar Mini UAV which is a 4.6 kg (9.9 pound) aircraft that is battery powered and hand launched. Endurance is 60 minutes and the Bayraktar can operate up to 15 kilometers from the operator. The Turkish Army has been using the Bayraktar Mini for the last six years.

Turkey's economy has been booming during the last decade, as a new government made good on its pledge to crack down on the corruption that had long crippled the economy. As the economy grew the government sought to make Turkey more self-sufficient in military equipment, and UAVs are considered part of this program.

 


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