Military Review

Modern UAVs of Turkish design


Medium UAV Bayraktar TB2 is the most famous Turkish development. Photo Wikimedia Commons

In recent years, the Turkish defense industry has shown its potential in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles. Several samples of such equipment of different classes have been created, put into service and brought to the international market. The UAV is being developed independently, incl. with the use of foreign components, and ready-made samples are purchased. Consider the main features of a modern unmanned aerial vehicle fleet Turkey

Samples and their quantity

According to open data, all types of the Turkish armed forces have UAVs of different classes and types. Such equipment is operated in varying quantities by the ground forces, the air and naval forces, as well as the gendarmerie. The number and composition of UAV groupings are determined in accordance with the tasks and needs of each component of the armed forces. At the same time, the main attention is paid to the development of medium and heavy directions, and more recently, loitering ammunition has been added to service.

According to the IISS reference book The Military Balance, at the beginning of 2020, the army had the largest UAV fleet. aviation... Its main element is 33 Bayraktar TB2 medium drones, manufactured by our own enterprises in recent years. There were an unspecified number of heavy Falcon 600 / Firebee, medium CL-89 and Gnat, and light Harpy - all foreign made.

Heavy UAV TAI Anka of early modification. Photo by TAI

The Air Force indicated the presence of more than 20 heavy Anka-S and up to 10 imported Herons. Medium UAVs were represented by 18 Gnat 750 products. Naval aviation had 3 heavy Anka-S and 4 medium Bayraktar TB2. The gendarmerie has a similar fleet of vehicles - up to 4 Anka-S vehicles and up to 12 TB2. The army and the air force are also armed with loitering ammunition of several types. A significant part of these arsenals is already made up of samples of Turkish production - STM Kargu.

It should be recalled that the Turkish army is currently conducting operations in Syria and Libya, and they are actively using modern UAVs and loitering ammunition. The use of such a technique is expected to be accompanied by constant losses. For example, in the skies over Libya, up to 15-18 TB2 vehicles were lost this year alone.

At the same time, the production and procurement of UAVs continues. In addition, supplies of new models of equipment have begun this year. As a result of these processes, the exact number of unmanned vehicles in the ranks is constantly changing. Most likely, the data in the following reference books will differ significantly from those published earlier. In which direction - it will become clear later.

Reconnaissance and shock Anka-S. Photo TAI

Own development

The most famous is the middle UAV Bayraktar TB2 from Baykar Makina. This reconnaissance and strike vehicle was created at the beginning of the tenth years on the basis of the "pure" scout TB1. Its first flight took place in 2014, and soon began operation in the interests of the Turkish army. Later, contracts appeared for the supply of such equipment to third countries.

Bayraktar TB2 is an average (maximum takeoff weight 650 kg) UAV with a long flight duration - up to 25-27 hours. The device is equipped with a 100 hp gasoline engine. foreign production and imported optoelectronic system. Not so long ago, it became known about the refusal from the suppliers of these components, and Turkey is forced to look for a replacement. The drone is capable of carrying and using guided missiles and bombs of several types. Fighting qualities are significantly limited by a carrying capacity of only 150 kg.

Modern UAVs of Turkish design

Loitering ammunition Kargu-2 and its control panel. Photo STM

In 2010, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) began testing the first UAV of the Anka family. In 2013, he was put into service, after which the development of new products began. The Anka drones are positioned as heavy vehicles with a long flight duration. Customers are offered several modifications with different equipment and differing functions.

The base platform is a UAV with a takeoff weight of approx. 1600 kg, straight wing and 170 hp gasoline engine. The device can remain in the air for up to a day and carry a payload of 200 kg. The range of combat operation of the first modifications is limited by the parameters of communication equipment and does not exceed 200 km. In the serial modification of the Anka-S, satellite communications were used, which increased the combat radius. UAVs of this type can conduct reconnaissance and attack targets using guided weapons.

Last year, STM began mass production and delivery of the Kargu-2 loitering ammunition. At the beginning of the year, an order was reported for 365 such items. In the fall, it became known about plans for a new contract, due to which the number of Kargu-2 will be brought to 500 units. Sales to foreign countries started. Earlier it was reported about the use of such UAVs by the Azerbaijani army.

Bayraktar Akıncı in combat configuration. Baykar Makina Graphics

Kargu-2 is a lightweight (7 kg) and compact (600x600 mm) drone quadrocopter with electric motors and a simplified optoelectronic unit. It is capable of carrying warheads of various types and striking targets at a distance of up to 5 km from the operator. Loitering duration - 30 minutes. The possibility of group use of ammunition is declared; one "swarm" includes up to 29 items.

Prospective projects

A year ago, the first flight of the promising heavy reconnaissance and strike UAV Bayraktar Akıncı took place. According to the plans of the recent past, this product was supposed to enter service by the end of 2020, but now these events have shifted to the end of 2021. Due to its belonging to a different class, the Akıncı UAV has minimal continuity with the previous devices of the Bayraktar family.

Bayraktar Akıncı is built according to the normal aerodynamic configuration with a gull wing. Two Ukrainian-made AI-450T turboprop engines with a capacity of 750 hp were used. The maximum take-off weight was increased to 5,5 tons, and the combat load was 1350 kg on six pylons. The UAV will be able to stay in the air for at least 45-48 hours and fly at a cruising speed of 250 km / h. Control is carried out through a satellite channel, which increases the combat radius.

Anka-2 UAV prototype in flight. Photo TAI

This year, it was also planned to adopt the TAI Anka-2 or Aksungur UAVs. This is a seriously reworked version of the previous Anka project with rebuilding of the airframe, power plant, etc. A double-girder design with two piston engines is proposed. Due to all the modifications, the maximum take-off weight is increased to 3,3 tons with a payload of 750 kg.

STM is completing the development of the Alpagu loitering munition. It will be a compact UAV with two foldable wings and an electric motor, launched from a tubular shipping container. A product weighing less than 2 kg will be able to attack targets at ranges of up to 5 km and stay in the air for up to 10 minutes. It is assumed that loitering ammunition with low flight characteristics and minimal dimensions will be useful for the infantry and special forces.

Unmanned progress

In recent years, the Turkish industry has managed to develop and bring into service a number of UAVs of all main classes, which positively affected the capabilities of the army. At the same time, the design processes do not stop, and in the near future completely new samples with improved capabilities and characteristics are expected.

Loitering ammunition STM Alpagu in the launcher. Photo STM

However, the development of the direction is not going smoothly. Thus, one of the main problems remains dependence on foreign components, incl. key. The recent refusal of foreign partners to supply engines and optoelectronic stations could seriously hit Turkish production. The possibility of replacing foreign components with Turkish ones has been announced, but it is unclear whether these plans will be fulfilled without loss in quality and production rates.

In recent conflicts, Turkish UAVs have shown themselves well in terms of combat use. This fact is used in advertising, and also becomes a reason for criticism of foreign air defense systems. However, it should be taken into account that in Syria, Libya or Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkish-made drones dealt with extremely weak and disorganized air defense. Despite this, there were significant losses. How the advertised "Bayraktars" will show themselves in a conflict with a well-armed enemy is a big question.

Nevertheless, the observed processes clearly show the potential of modern unmanned aerial vehicles and loitering ammunition, and also demonstrate that even countries without a developed aviation industry can create quite successful designs of this kind. There is no doubt that the Turkish experience of recent years is already being studied by third countries and will be used in drawing up plans for the future.
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  1. Aerodrome
    Aerodrome 8 December 2020 04: 13
    Turkish UAVs cannot be considered a "Turkish development", since they, like Russian ones, are crammed with imported components, and the schemes are removed from the American ones.
    1. Uncle Vanya Susanin
      Uncle Vanya Susanin 8 December 2020 04: 44
      So, what is next? American aircraft are full of non-American components!
      1. Aerodrome
        Aerodrome 8 December 2020 05: 21
        Quote: Uncle Vanya Susanin
        So, what is next? American aircraft are full of non-American components!

        and then further, that the components are "not American", developed in America, but are produced in third world countries, or in China, so cheaper, do we catch the difference?
        1. Uncle Vanya Susanin
          Uncle Vanya Susanin 8 December 2020 18: 07
          Are you one hundred percent sure that they were developed in America, and are you aware that many Boeing models were developed by our engineers and designers in Moscow? I’m talking about the Poe that Indians do for Americans hi
    2. vladcub
      vladcub 8 December 2020 09: 57
      At least from the Martian ones. The fact remains that the Turks are seriously engaged in UAVs, and in the future they will begin their development. Yes, they will be primitive, but they will gradually improve.
      What Turkish UAVs are capable of can be seen in the example of Karabakh.
  2. Operator
    Operator 8 December 2020 06: 33
    The Turkish drone company is headed by Erdogan's son-in-law, so government funding is pouring into it.

    Maybe it's time to create a Russian company headed by Shoigu's son-in-law? laughing
    1. donavi49
      donavi49 8 December 2020 09: 32
      TAI is a state-owned company.
      STM is a private trader.
      Bayraktar is a private trader who was helped at a key stage with money and supported by an order.

      If Putin's son-in-law did not take possession of highly liquid assets, but did some kind of project like Bayraktar, or Mask, or Lei Jun, I think everyone would have vigorously supported this and put it as an example wink .
    2. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 8 December 2020 09: 45
      Quote: Operator
      headed by Erdogan's son-in-law

      What does this have to do with it? The main work was before marriage.

      In March 2016, they got engaged and married on May 14, 2016.

      Baykar Makina is a Turkish aircraft manufacturer founded in 1984
      Since 2000, Baykar Makina began work in the field of aircraft construction, in particular, in the development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
      In 2007, the company developed the first Turkish unmanned reconnaissance drone, the Kale-Baykar Mini.
      For the development and production of the Bayraktar Tactical Class UAV, Baykar Makina received the 9th technology award in 2010.
      In 2014, a new product of the company was successfully tested - the Bayraktar TB2 strike drone
  3. Alexander Galaktionov
    Alexander Galaktionov 8 December 2020 09: 04
    There they also have Anka RER on the courage to see the photo, plus they have a UAV with the RB
  4. OgnennyiKotik
    OgnennyiKotik 8 December 2020 09: 15

    36 UAVs of Turkey. The article does not even contain all the UAVs that are in service. For example, there is no Bayraktar Mini and Vestel Karayel.
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 8 December 2020 09: 17

      Director of TUSAŞ (TAI) Ismayil Kotil: From December 5, 2020, the Turkish newest drone Aksungur (Anka-2) is going into mass production.

      Briefly about the characteristics of the UAV Aksungur:

      1. OgnennyiKotik
        OgnennyiKotik 8 December 2020 09: 18

        Test flight Bayraktar TB-2S

        New CATS optics and MIlSAR radar
        Satellite communication system (Satcom)
        New engine from the Turkish company TUSAS TEI (presumably PD-170).
  5. vladcub
    vladcub 8 December 2020 10: 22
    Kirill, I liked your review. The UAV topic is new and therefore interesting.
    I have a wish: to continue this topic. But with the addition, what is known about anti-drone countermeasures today? This is also an extensive and interesting topic.
    PS. I would like to know: how is the situation with the UAV? I foresee a sea of ​​emotions here and, moreover, from two extreme positions: a) "we are stronger than everyone else"; b) "boss, the mustache is gone"
  6. antchar
    antchar 8 December 2020 16: 12
    All publications about UAVs are meaningless without information about the noise immunity of the communication and control channel, and the vulnerability of the control point. And so it turns out that they are effective in the fight against the Papuans. All talks about the conflict in Karabakh do not carry truthful information about the means of combating UAVs involved. We cannot refute Pashinyan at this time. We need him.
  7. rica1952
    rica1952 8 December 2020 16: 24
    there is no one of the main performance characteristics this is AFAR.
  8. Smirnoff
    Smirnoff 8 December 2020 22: 15
    Turkish UAV manufacturers have already made a significant leap forward, and have a serious head start. We must catch up ...
  9. Grievous
    Grievous 10 December 2020 01: 43
    Not like we have regular FSE-winning AnaloGovnets.
  10. Albay
    Albay 13 February 2021 15: 22
    I would like to ask Ryabov what and what were the "sensitive losses" of Turkey in Nagorno-Karabakh or in Libya. In addition to propagandistic statements about 10 downed Turkish UAVs, only a few were actually lost by the Turks. In Nagorno-Karabakh, the air defense forces were organized by Russian and Iranian specialists. the air defense system is united with the Russian one.