Bayraktar Akinci UCAV officially enters Turkish inventory

The Akinci unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), built by Baykar company,  officially joined the Turkish inventory in a ceremony  attended by Turkey’s president, held on August 29.

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Bayraktar Akinci UCAV officially enters Turkish inventory 01 The combat drone entered the inventory of the Turkish security forces with a ceremony held in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ and attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Picture source: Baykar)

Bayraktar Akıncı is a High-Altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) manufactured by the Turkish technology company Baykar. 

The drone has a 5.5 tons Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) while 1,350kg (2,976 pounds) of this is composed of a payload (400 kg internal and 950 kg external). 

Akıncı will be the first UAV capable of launching an ALCM (Air-Launched Cruise Missile). Other ammunitions expected to be used on the Akıncı include Roketsan’s Cirit laser-guided missile, the laser-guided long-range anti-tank missile (L-UMTAS), Bozok munitions, the within visual range air-to-air missile (WVRAAM), the Bozdoğan and beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) and the Gökdoğan standoff missiles (SOM) developed with resources from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey’s (TÜBITAK) Defense Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE). It will also be capable of deploying low-drag general-purpose bombs such as the MK-81, MK-82 and MK-83. On April 22, the cutting-edge drone successfully passed its first live-fire test using the latest smart munitions domestically developed by leading defense contractor Roketsan, namely the MAM-T, MAM-C and MAM-L smart micro munitions (MAM).

Bayraktar Akinci UCAV officially enters Turkish inventory 04 M is a laser-guided system produced by Turkey's domestic defense industry manufacturer Roketsan for armed drones, light attack aircraft and fighter aircraft (Picture source: Baykar Technologies)

The state-of-the-art UCAV – in addition to carrying critical loads such as an Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) camera, the AESA radar produced by Turkish defense giant Aselsan that will be integrated into the drone, the Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) satellite connection and electronic support systems – will also have advanced artificial intelligence (AI) features that will allow it to collect information by recording the data it receives from sensors and cameras on the aircraft.

The AI system, which will be able to detect the angle of roll, stand up and orientation of the aircraft without the need for any external sensor or Global Positioning System, will provide environmental awareness by using geographic information. The advanced AI system will have the ability to make decisions by processing the data it obtains. It can detect targets that cannot be detected by human eyes, enabling the Bayraktar Akıncı to be used more effectively.

Bayraktar Akinci UCAV officially enters Turkish inventory 03 During the ceremony, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed the first Akinci drone to join Turkish inventory (Picture source: Baykar)

Addressing the ceremony, Erdoğan said Akinci places Turkey among the three most advanced countries in this technology. The defense industry will be a locomotive of every other success that Turkey will achieve in the period ahead, Erdoğan said. “Cutting the defense industry’s external dependency to 20% from 80% in such short time is one of greatest achievements in the history of the Republic,” he noted.   

Bayraktar Akinci UCAV officially enters Turkish inventory 05

Bayraktar Akinci UCAV officially enters Turkish inventory 02

The first mass-produced version of Turkey's unmanned combat aerial vehicle  Baykar Akinci S-1, passed its initial flight test on May 19 (Picture source: Baykar)