Turkey unveils new twin prop combat UAV development

Turkey has unveiled a new program to develop a UCAV (unmanned combat aerial vehicle) with superior combat capabilities, President Recep Tayyib Erdogan revealed during a TV program.

The twin turboprop engine powered UCAV weighing 4.5 tonne is being developed by Baykar, featuring operational capabilities similar to the US made General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper.

Dubbed Akinci Taarruzi IHA, the UCAV will be capable of flying at an altitude of 40,000 ft with an endurance of 24 hours.

It is designed to carry a 1,500 kg weapon payload on its six external hardpoints and a internal weapon bay. The armaments will include the guided MK-82 general purpose bombs and Roketsan MAM-L air to ground anti-armor missiles.

Turkey has developed Laser, GPS and INS guidance kits for the 500 lb MK-82 bombs to improve precision.

The UCAV will be equipped with the Aseslan CATS Electro-Optical Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting System.

Maiden flight is planned for 2020.

The Akinci Taarruzi will be the third combat capable UAV developed in Turkey. Currently the Baykar Bayraktar tactical UAV and the TAI Anka medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAVs are operational with Turkish Armed Forces.