BUSINESS > Turkey set to produce its own armed UAVs

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The Turkish armed UAV’s will be similar to the American Reaper and the Israeli Heron with regard to capabilities, according to the new project Ankar Plus A. AA photo

The Turkish armed UAV’s will be similar to the American Reaper and the Israeli Heron with regard to capabilities, according to the new project Ankar Plus A. AA photo

Özgür Ekşi Özgür Ekşi ozgur.eksi@hdn.com.tr

The Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSİK) has assigned the task of launching studies aimed at production of the country’s first armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).

The project is a further step after the partly successful test-flights of the Anka, a medium-altitude and long-endurance (MALE) UAV, which was also designed and produced by TAI.

According to the new project, which is called “Anka Plus A” in classified files, the Turkish armed UAVs will be similar to the American Reaper and the Israeli Heron with regard to its capabilities.

Ankara’s decision comes after years-long efforts to buy Predators and Reapers, the type of armed drones the U.S. has used in places like Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan to target militants. Nevertheless, the U.S. Congress has so far opposed the sale of drones to Turkey, reportedly because of Ankara’s worsening relations with Israel.

Anka made its maiden flight in December 2010, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet for 14 minutes, but the flight ended in a crash-landing. The drone’s specifications call for a flight time of almost 24 hours at 30,000 feet. Two later flights also ended up in crash-landings, although their flight in the air was extended. The drone had its first successful test flight on Oct. 25, 2011.

Despite being in sub-standard flight conditions, the footage released by TAI put speculation about the crash-landings at a rest. On Nov. 22, 2011, the Anka held the follow-up test flight for 6 hours at an altitude of 20,000 feet.

TAI plans to start design studies for the Anka Plus A soon. Although not able to give an exact date for the finalization of the project, defense sources noted that they had gained important experience in the Anka project, which would be useful for the Anka Plus A too.

“The new Anka Plus A will have higher flying altitude and longer flying endurance, but will be still categorized in the medium altitude long endurance (MALE) class. The first Anka that TAI is currently testing is also in the MALE class, but the new one will be closer to the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) class.”


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Notice on comments

mr who

7/20/2012 2:20:31 AM

One of the secrets of the modern day aviation industry is that the person cutting out sections has the engineering knowledge to know if there is a problem, methodology is tied had in hand with science in the manufacturing as well as production and millions of hours of testing of all components .Americans who l admire use a knowledge base of three hundred years.

ilker avni

7/19/2012 9:52:28 PM

Drones and Robots are the future.The United States military is investing in Robots technology as this is the future.The Mars mission has enabled the military to use this technology in their military,i have seen small inventors growing thanks to the military who uses many robots to gather intelergence,law inforcement allso uses many robots in their work.


7/19/2012 5:07:42 PM

Yes, unless Anka +A is a brand new design, there is little comparison to Reaper, which has a take-off weight of almost 5 tons and has 900 hp engine vs Anka A which has a take off weight of only 1.6 ton and runs a 155 hp engine. Need a bigger bird to carry those missiles. This is one area where there is zero technology import, so it is slow going but will get there.

dogan kemal ileri

7/19/2012 4:44:40 PM

Excellent news and I think Turkiye has finally got the message and that is if you want weapons dont ever buy them off the shelf but invest in the infrastructure in your own country to manufacture even better ones,We have the willpower,the money and the technical expertise.

cloud chaser

7/19/2012 2:55:38 PM

Some very minor factual corrections - The Predator and Heron have similar Capabilities. The Reaper is in a better class, and comparable to Eitan, not Heron. From the article it's not clear if the Anka is similar to the Heron ( and Predator) or to the Reaper ( and Eitan) UAVs.


7/19/2012 1:26:08 PM

smells like new uludere...

american american

7/19/2012 12:39:13 PM

drones are not the way to go. we see this with the fallout from the strikes in pakistan and yemen. can you imagine redhack or anonymous getting into these weapons systems?


7/19/2012 9:34:28 AM

@Eric. I imagine they are, and are having a good laugh too. If the Anka has yet to successfully test at maximum altitude and endurance after 5 years of development, I doubt an armed version will be ready for at least as long again.

mevlut erdem

7/19/2012 5:01:41 AM

Very good news,the future of warfair is HALE/MALE UAV/UCAVs.

Eric Martin

7/19/2012 3:20:49 AM

Good news! I hope our friends hiding in caves are reading this.
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