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Turkey details Akinci armed UAV programme

26 February 2019
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An official infographic detailing Turkey’s Akinci armed UAV development. Source: SSB

The Presidency of the Turkish Defence Industries (SSB) has revealed fresh details of its Akinci (Raider) armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is under development by local enterprise Baykar Makina.

The Akinci UAV will have a wingspan of 20 m and a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 4,500 kg. It is expected to be capable of staying aloft for up to 24 hours and attain an operational ceiling of 40,000 ft (12,192 m).

The air vehicle will be powered by a pair of indigenously manufactured PD-222 turbo-diesel engines built by Tusas Engine Industries (TEI) in partnership with US company General Electric. The PD-222 is based on the new PD-170 engine that will replace the Thielert Centurion 2.0 S turbodiesel engine, which is currently powering Turkey's Anka medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV.

TEI successfully carried out initial flight tests of a PD-170 powered Anka UAV in December 2018.

According to the SSB, the Akinci will be able to carry internal and external payloads of up to 450 kg and 900 kg respectively. The air vehicle will be equipped with indigenously developed mission equipment, including an Aselsan-supplied active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, electronic warfare (EW), and satellite communication systems.

It will also be able to carry a wide range of external weapons, such as the Roketsan MAM-L precision-guided bombs (PGBs), Cirit guided rockets, as well as the latest MAM-C smart munition that has just entered serial production. The MAM-C can engage targets that are up to 8 km away depending on its launch altitude.

Other weapons are also planned for integration, including the Roketsan SOM-A cruise missile with a range of 250 km and a selection of PGBs based on the Mk 82 general purpose bomb.

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