Domestic firm to work on drone

Domestic firm to work on drone

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Domestic firm to work on drone

Turkey wants to develop its national engine for the ongoing national unmanned plane project. DHA photo

Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) and Tusaş Engine Industries (TEI), a private company, yesterday signed an agreement under which the company will develop and produce engines for the Anka, a locally made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The protocol for the locally made engine was signed at the main office of the agency in Ankara. The SSM chairman Murad Bayar said at the ceremony that building the engine was even more difficult than building the aircraft. However, TIE general manager Akın Duman said the body had enough infrastructure for the project.

A UAV, commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is either controlled autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle.

Use of UAVs does not risk the lives of human pilots.

Anka is a medium-altitude long-endurance MALE-category drone. Such UAVs usually operate for 24 hours at an altitude of 10,000 feet.

Anka, meaning Phoenix in English, is the first MALE-type UAV to be produced by TAI. Presently several prototypes have been produced with other engines. One of the prototypes crashed during a test flight in September but several other flight tests have been carried out successfully.

The Defense Industry Executive Committee, whose members include Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel and procurement chief Murad Bayar, ruled early this year to buy 10 Ankas.

Anka+, another version of the Anka, calls for an armed vehicle, using a rocket attached to its body and sensors.

Turkey is attempting to enter the league of countries that produce and operate UAVs successfully. Several other companies, mostly Bayraktar, have produced tactical and mini UAVs that already are operable.

Before TAI, Turkey had bought MALE-type drones, able weapons against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, from the United States and Israel. It presently operates the Israeli-made Herons.