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Turkey test fires 12.7 mm RCWS integrated into armed unmanned surface vessel

Turkey's first armed unmanned surface vehicle (USV) integrated with a 12.7 mm remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) has successfully completed firing tests, its developers have announced.

The armed USV is the first variant of the ULAQ USV product family being jointly developed by Ares Shipyard and defence electronics company Meteksan for a variety of roles. It can be configured with a range of payloads, including extended-range surface-to-surface missiles, electronic warfare (EW), jamming, and different communications and intelligence systems.

A prototype equipped with four Rocketsan Cirit and two L-Umtas laser-guided missile systems successfully completed firing tests in May 2021 during the Turkish Navy's ‘Sea Wolf 2021' exercise in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. During the trial the USV fired two Cirit missiles with live warheads to hit a target at a distance of 4 km with pin-point accuracy.

According to the companies, the latest version armed with a 12.7 mm RCWS has been designed to protect sea borders, naval bases, ports and critical infrastructure.

In a joint press on 25 January, Ares Shipyard and Meteksan Defence stated that “we have successfully completed all tests including the firing tests with the 12.7 mm weapon system of the armed unmanned surface vehicle, ULAQ-AUSV. We are aware of how important the ULAQ USV is in the protection of sea borders, naval bases, ports, and critical facilities. In this context, we continue our intensive activities to integrate new systems to ULAQ within the scope of different requirements.”

The armed USV has an overall length of 11 m, a range of up to 800 km, a speed capability of up to 130 km/h, day and night-vision capabilities, autonomous navigation algorithms, and encrypted and EW-protected communication infrastructure.

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