LIMA 2023: Malaysia orders three TAI Ankas

by Akhil Kadidal

Acquisition of the TAI Anka unmanned aircraft system will enhance Malaysia's surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities over the country's maritime zones. When armed, the UAS will also provide the military with a credible attack or point-defence capability. (Janes/TAI)

The Malaysian government has announced a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for three Anka multirole unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). The Anka (Phoenix) is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS that is capable of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), electronic warfare (EW), and combat operations.

The Malaysian Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) announced the contract on 25 May during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 held from 23 to 27 May.

The MINDEF said in its announcement that the value of the contract is MYR423.8 million (USD91.6 million) and that the aircraft would support the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) operations. The MINDEF added that these aircraft comprise Phase 1 of the acquisition.

A spokesperson from TAI added that the contract value includes the three aircraft and the control station. The RMAF will operate the aircraft.


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UK UAV maker reveals its craft in use by Ukrainian armed forces since 2023

by Sam Wise

A Windracers ULTRA UAV pictured in February 2024. (Windracers Group)

Ukraine is operating the UK-developed Windracers Uncrewed Low-cost Transport (ULTRA) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Janes has learnt.

ULTRA is a tactical UAV designed to support resupply. Speaking to Janes on 4 April, Simon Muderack, the CEO of Windracers and Distributed Avionics, revealed that its UAV has been conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and supporting resupply for the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2023.

Although Muderack did not specify exact dates or the number of aircraft provided, Janes understands the UK Ministry of Defence procured the aircraft on behalf of the Ukrainian armed forces, supplying it as aid. A defence source told Janes the procurement and supply of ULTRA is part of the UK's GBP325 million (USD413 million) UAV support programme to Ukraine.

According to Janes


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First Replicator unmanned systems delivered to US armed forces

by Zach Rosenberg

A US Army soldier launched an AeroVironment Switchblade. The loitering munition is the only system publicly identified as being selected to be part of the Replicator initiative. (DVIDS)

The first systems under the Replicator initiative, intended to manufacture small unmanned systems en masse, have been delivered, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said in a 22 May statement.

“The delivery of Replicator systems to the warfighter began earlier this month,” Hicks said. “Together with the private sector and with support from Congress, the Replicator initiative is delivering capabilities at greater speed and scale while simultaneously burning down risk and alleviating systemic barriers across the department.”

The first Replicator capabilities include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles, and counter-UAV equipment, according to a 6 May Department of Defense (DoD) statement. Only one such system – AeroVironment's Switchblade 600, a small loitering munition – has been publicly identified.

The programme has largely been conducted in secret, though occasional statements have revealed that the first tranche of Replicator programmes was selected in December 2023. Additional Replicator contracts are expected to be issued in boreal summer.


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BSDA 2024: ROMARM develops new family of drone-dropped munitions

by Sonny Butterworth

The complete family of Carfil's drone-dropped munitions (from left to right: 60 mm, 81 mm, 82 mm, and 120 mm), showing the polymer stabilising fins that have been used to reduce weight. (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

Carfil, a subsidiary of Romania's state-owned ROMARM holding company, displayed a family of drone-dropped munitions at the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace (BSDA) 2024 exhibition held in Bucharest from 22 to 24 May.

Based on ROMARM's existing range of 60 mm, 81 mm, 82 mm, and 120 mm mortar bombs, the drone-dropped variants include stabilising fins manufactured from polymers to reduce their weight and different fuzes. The high-explosive (HE) warheads are unchanged.

The weights of the drone-dropped variants of these munitions were not listed by Carfil, but ROMARM's brochure lists a weight of approximately 1,500 kg for its standard 60 mm HE mortar bomb, 3,100 kg for its standard 81 mm and 82 mm HE mortar bombs, and 15 kg for its standard 120 mm mortar bomb.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/lima-2023-malaysia-orders-three-tai-ankas

The Malaysian government has announced a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for three ...

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