Şimşek, or Thunder in English, works
with a jet engine unlike its counterparts.
Turkish Aerospace Industry’s (TAI) most recent UAV, Şimşek (Thunder), made its maiden flight Aug. 4. The UAV will be used as a target drone in air defense training.
TAI is currently using its mini UAV Turna (crane) for air defense training. The new UAV is faster and has new features for better training. Şimşek has small dimensions but carries a special electronic system that makes it appear as a big plane on radar. With the help of the electronic system the air defense unit will be trained in targeting and hitting air systems. Pilots will also benefit from the system for dog fight training.
TAI experts predict that the use of Şimşek will cut air defense costs as flying Şimşek costs less and it can be reused if it is not hit.
TAI has previously tested its ANKA drone and is now preparing an armed version of ANKA for the Turkish military.