Military Review

Turkish UAV Anka-3 on the eve of testing

Turkish UAV Anka-3 on the eve of testing
Experienced UAV Anka-3 after leaving the assembly shop

Turkish State Aerospace Company Türk Havacılık ve Uzay Sanayii A.Ş. (TUSAŞ) or Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) continues work on advanced unmanned aerial vehicles. Thus, the assembly of the first experimental heavy-class UAV Anka-3 has recently been completed. It has already been rolled out of the shop and shown to the public. In the near future drone it will have to undergo ground tests, after which it will be lifted into the air for the first time.

Latest Development

According to known data, the development of another heavy-class UAV from the Anka (“Phoenix”) series began just over a year ago, in February 2022. At the same time, the Anka-3 project was kept secret for several months. Its existence was officially announced only in mid-December 2022.

The Anka-3 project was first mentioned by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay during budget discussions for the next 2023. He noted that the coming year will be an important milestone in stories Turkish aviation industry. In particular, the appearance of another heavy UAV was expected, which will be able to bring the capabilities of unmanned aircraft to a new level.

At the end of December, it became known that TAI was already building the first experimental drone of the new model. It was planned to be completed over the next few weeks, in January 2023. Preliminary checks at the factory were scheduled for February-March, after which the roll-out of the UAV was to take place. Also in the spring, after the following checks, the start of flight tests was expected.

In December, the first images of a promising UAV were also published. The product was shown in a parking configuration with suspended weapons. On four pylons under the wing there was one bomb each.

On March 18, 2023, TAI held two important events at once. Thus, the first flight of the promising training aircraft Hürjet took place. In addition, the first experimental Anka-3 UAV was rolled out of the workshop. Soon, the press service of the developer organization published the first photo of the drone outside the workshop.

Previously posted drone image. Some differences from the prototype are noticeable

According to the latest news, test runs of the engine and the remaining checks on the ground will take place in the near future. During April, the first flight is expected, followed by full-scale flight tests. How long they will last is yet to be announced. Accordingly, the possible timing of the launch of mass production and the receipt of equipment by the troops remain unknown.

Features and capabilities
The new Turkish UAV Anka-3 formally belongs to the already known family of vehicles. However, both externally and in its design, this product is seriously different from previous drones, which indicates its development from scratch and without using some of the ready-made developments and solutions. Due to this approach, it was possible to obtain new opportunities and advantages over other Phoenixes.

The heavy UAV Anka-3 is built according to the "flying wing" scheme. The airframe has a rudimentary fuselage that protrudes slightly beyond the swept wing. The drone received a characteristic air intake on the upper surface. Above there are several more windows of small size. A turbojet engine of an unknown model is placed in the tail. It is alleged that the chosen appearance of the airframe reduces visibility for radar facilities.

The drone must carry a set of electronics for various purposes. First of all, it is an autopilot and related means for flight control. We also need a communication system for information exchange and aerobatics. It is reported about the ability of the UAV to carry radar or other systems to solve specific problems. The published photos show that there is a certain panel on top of the fuselage that differs from other surfaces. Probably, under such a cover are communications or other electronics.

The operating modes of the control systems are unknown. Apparently, Anka-3 can fly and solve tasks under the full control of the operator at the command post. Routine tasks, such as flying a simple program, must be performed independently.

The UAV is capable of carrying various types of payload; it is placed inside the airframe and outside. So, in the first images of Phoenix-3, under the fuselage, the doors of the two central compartments of equipment or weapons are visible. Older photos show the presence of four underwing pylons with the possibility of hanging a small caliber bomb. The picture of the UAV after rolling out allows us to confidently speak of only two underwing points, although it does not exclude the presence of a second pair.

In the first photos, the drone was shown with four small-caliber guided bombs. During the rollout under the wing of the prototype, there were rockets or outboard tanks of a similar shape. It is reported about the possibility of installing various types of reconnaissance systems on the device. It will be able to carry an optical-electronic station, a compact radar or electronic intelligence equipment. However, the exact nomenclature of compatible weapons and devices has not yet been disclosed.

The overall and weight parameters of the Turkish UAV remain unknown. It is clear that the Anka-3 is quite large and in this respect is not inferior to some manned fighters. In terms of mass, the product should also resemble light fighters.

Flight performance has not yet been disclosed. Judging by the scheme used, "Phoenix-3" is subsonic, but can reach high speeds. The "flying wing" should also improve efficiency and range. However, Turkish sources report that such an architecture was applied mainly to reduce visibility.

On the eve of the test

Thus, in just over a year, the Turkish aircraft manufacturer TAI / TUSAŞ has developed, built and brought its next heavy-duty unmanned aerial vehicle to preliminary tests. Already in the coming weeks, it is planned to complete checks on the ground and begin flight tests, which will determine the future fate of this development.

Turkish officials have repeatedly stated that the TAI Anka-3 project is of great importance for both the development company and the Turkish Air Force. Indeed, to create this sample, TAI had to work out new technical solutions and master the necessary technologies. The result of this should be a UAV that is seriously different from its predecessors - and of particular interest to the Turkish Air Force.

Unlike previous heavy UAVs from TAI, the new Anka-3 has been designed to reduce visibility and improve flight performance. Measures of this kind have been somewhat successful, tests must show. Declared the possibility of installing various systems and devices, which will also be confirmed in the near future. You should also pay attention to the possible options for combat load. Due to its relatively large size and weight, the new Phoenix will be able to carry more weapons.

In general, the promising Anka-3 UAV will have to surpass the previous developments of the same name in terms of the combination of characteristics and capabilities. At the same time, the difference in characteristics may be such that the Phoenix-3 will not replace older UAVs, but will complement them. Several unmanned systems will be able to compose a system with a wide range of capabilities, functions and characteristics. In its composition, each drone will solve its own range of tasks, complementing other samples.

However, so far we are only talking about plans and expectations. The promising product Anka-3 has not yet taken to the air and it has only to confirm its characteristics and capabilities. Whether it will be possible to carry out all the necessary tests within the specified time frame and obtain the desired results, the near future will show.
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  1. Mustachioed Georgian
    Mustachioed Georgian 21 March 2023 04: 41
    I wonder what's up with our Hunter?
    1. Aerodrome
      Aerodrome 21 March 2023 04: 49
      Quote: Mustachioed Georgian
      I wonder what's up with our Hunter?

      he is invisible ... "stealth" same.
      1. Civil
        Civil 21 March 2023 07: 23
        The coating in the new pictures looks like thermal insulation ... like quilted.
      2. Plane_Junkers
        Plane_Junkers 21 March 2023 10: 36
        Quote: Aerodrome
        he is invisible ... "stealth" same.

        best joke of today
      3. smart ass
        smart ass 22 March 2023 10: 10
        As it turned out recently, massive and cheap weapons are needed for war! T14, su57, hunters and vanguards are not bad for showing off!
        1. Saburov_Alexander53
          Saburov_Alexander53 23 May 2023 14: 45
          Maybe buy it from the Turks? At the same time, we will troll the Ukrainians. Anka and Bayraktar will converge in the air and Baranka will remain from them laughing
    2. antony841
      antony841 21 March 2023 12: 56
      Two options - or all is lost. Or goes on its own. Yes, and comparing Anka 3 from Turkey and the Hunter is not entirely correct. The hunter is 3 times larger: at least only in terms of mass 25 tons versus 7 tons for the Turks. Hence the different fuel supply, range, payload mass, etc. Of course, I would like the S-70 to be designed and put into mass production in two or three years. Those. 2012 the beginning of design, and the year 2015 is already mass production. But, unfortunately, this does not happen. Combat aircraft of similar class and performance characteristics (both UAVs and manned) travel for at least 10 years (or even more, taking into account the elimination of childhood diseases of technology). And this is in favorable conditions of financing, the availability of trained personnel (when the top receives a cache not 50-100 times more than an engineer, and the gap is not due to the small salary of the boss, but because of the high salary of direct designers and engineers, technical specialists), and no one blocks access to the leading developments of neighbors in the development of optics, radars. And so - a miracle that in 2021 they rolled out the third experimental (almost serial) copy with a flat engine nozzle.
      1. smart ass
        smart ass 22 March 2023 10: 12
        Unfortunately, this is not the case with us! Since 2012, they can’t build, it’s a shame
  2. ximkim
    ximkim 21 March 2023 04: 54
    Quote: Mustachioed Georgian
    I wonder what's up with our Hunter?

    Yes, you can already forget about it.
  3. lopvlad
    lopvlad 21 March 2023 06: 24
    Turkish UAV Anka-3

    I wonder what is the percentage of foreign components in this Turkish UAV. If, as in bayraktar, then it can only be called Turkish only conditionally.
    1. nazgul-ishe
      nazgul-ishe 21 March 2023 07: 11
      What difference does it make on whose batteries it will FLY. Then they will produce their own, they have experience.
    2. kpd
      kpd 21 March 2023 13: 06
      Even more interesting is what kind of engine is there, again something American?
      1. AAK
        AAK 21 March 2023 19: 05
        It's not about whose dviglo the Turks have and whose batteries ... "Bayraktar" fought and, despite a significant percentage of losses, did bad things to us through the roof, and plus, the Turks stopped supplying it in the same volumes, and the plant in dill until it is launched. The question is that the Turks bring their fully combat-ready samples to testing in 2-3 years, and God forbid, in 15 ... the first takeoff of the Su-57 was back in 2010 and in 13 years they put 13 aircraft into a test batch , the situation is the same with the "Hunter" and with other large drones, from the medium ones - a few copies of the "Pacer" have appeared, but so far we do not foresee even close analogues of the "Global Hawk" or "Reaper" ...
  4. sdivt
    sdivt 21 March 2023 10: 42
    A little over a year - and a pilot copy is ready
    Judging by the pace, no more will be needed for all sea trials.
    And then what?
    Will we meet him in the sky?
  5. spirit
    spirit 21 March 2023 12: 45
    Hanging bombs on a flying wing? This is beyond stupidity. Yes, and besides the form, I doubt that the Turks have the necessary coatings and other stray items associated with modern stealth technologies.
    1. Proctologist
      Proctologist 21 March 2023 17: 16
      This is true. At the same time, the Turks are moving in the right direction. Even without stealth coatings and computing power for calculating geometry, they chose a progressive glider, which at least in the future can be modified to stealth, and a classic glider is a dead end, they will have to make a new stealth from 0.
  6. Hort
    Hort April 18 2023 09: 39
    I wonder who we need to drive into charades and camps so that the "hunter" and any analogues of reapers appear in the troops ...