The military in Turkey received a heavy attack drone Akinci developed by the consortium Baykar Makina. It has already completed more than 875 test flights, TRT World reports. The drone will be placed on the Anadolu ship.
Baykar Makina began designing the Akinci in mid-2018, and by early 2019 had begun developing it. The drone is equipped with turbodiesel engines, each with 450 horsepower. The maximum take-off weight of the UAV is 4.5 tons, and the wingspan is 20 meters. Akinci can carry 1.3 tons of payload.
The drone received MAM air-to-surface missiles, guided bombs and SOM cruise missiles with a range of more than 250 kilometers. Turkish engineers will equip Akinci with an active phased array radar, electronic warfare systems and satellite communications equipment to control and transmit intelligence information.
Initially, the developers hoped that the drone could stay aloft for up to 24 hours. Tests exceeded expectations: Akinci flew 25 hours and 26 minutes with a load of 1.36 tons. It covered 7.5 thousand km and broke the Turkish national aviation record for flight altitude, rising to 11 582 m. The wingspan of the drone is 20 meters – this makes it one of the largest Turkish drones produced today. In Turkish, Akinci means “Raider”.
The drone has already been handed over to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) at a ceremony attended by President Recep Erdogan. According to him, Turkey’s latest drone is taking the country’s defense industry to the top league – “among the three leading manufacturers of combat drones in the world.”