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Turkey’s First Indigenous MALE-class Anka UAV Takes To the Skies

  

Turkey’s first national MALE-class (medium
altitude long endurance) unmanned aerial vehicle, dubbed “Anka” after an
Anatolian bird, made its maiden flight without much of a publicity just
before the New Year’s Day, TRDEFENCE sources reported on Sunday.
Anka is vastly superior to its competition (such as the Heron of
Israeli origin) in the same category thanks to its heavier payload
capacity, long flight time of 24 hours, higher flight ceiling and
state-of-the-art electrooptical instruments that include Aselsan’s
next-generation AselFLIR 300T, laser target designator and an
indigenously developed synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can detect,
identify and track targets day and night, beyond thick layers of cloud,
dust and smoke.
Anka also carries on-board artificial intelligence that enables the
aircraft to fly autonomously without the requirement for remote human
assistance, find allied airbases in the event of an emergency and land
automatically.
An armed version of the aircraft, codenamed Anka-B, is currently
under development in Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with further
funding from Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, SSM.
Reports indicate that Anka-B’s modular weapons architecture will be able
to carry Roketsan-developed Cirit laser guided rockets, UMTAS anti-tank
missiles and/or other compatible weapon systems depending on the
assigned mission.
Anka features low radar observatibility courtesy of its thin profile,
carbon composite structures that minimize the usage of highly
reflective metal components as well as its aerodynamically efficient
design.
The first Anka is expected to be commissioned by TurAF in 2011 with the armed Anka-B following it up in 2013.