High in the sky: Turkey’s iconic drone Akıncı sets altitude record

Turkey’s latest advanced combat drone set a new national aviation record, the head of the country’s highest defense body said on Thursday.

The Akıncı Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) flew at an altitude of 38,039 feet (11,594 meters), Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) Chairman Ismail Demir said on Twitter.

The drone remained in the air for 25 hours and 46 minutes during flight tests at the Akinci Flight Test and Training Center in Çorlu district, northwest Tekirdağ province. from Turkey.

Baykar Makina, a drone tycoon who produces the Akıncı, said in a statement that the UCAV was an SSB-led project and took off during the long-range, high-altitude flight performance test held in the presence of official delegations.

The drone traveled a distance of 7,507 kilometers (4,660 miles) in the air.

The Akıncı has carried out 870 sorties during the tests to date and completed a total of 347 hours and 28 minutes of flight time.

The UCAV made its maiden flight on December 6, 2019. Test activities at the command center at Çorlu airport in the northwest are being carried out with three other prototypes.

The drone passed its first firing test at the end of April using the latest smart munitions developed nationally by leading defense contractor Roketsan.

He carried out successful shots with intelligent micro-munitions (MAM) MAM-T, MAM-C and MAM-L.

The first test flights with ammunition were carried out with the Akıncı PT-3 on April 17, while the second test flight with ammunition was carried out on April 21.

Mass production in progress

Serial production of the Akıncı is underway and the first deliveries are expected this year.

The first production model, the integration of which was recently completed, arrived in Çorlu for testing.

The Akıncı follows the company’s success with the Bayraktar TB2 UCAV which was also manufactured locally and is actively used by the country’s security forces.

The combat drone is actively used in Qatar, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. In May, Poland became the first NATO or European Union member state to acquire drones from Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan said in March that Saudi Arabia was also interested in purchasing Turkish drones.

The Akıncı is longer and wider than the Bayraktar TB2 and is configured to perform strategic tasks.

Akıncı – whose designs, software, avionics and mechanics are all owned by Baykar – has nearly 100 computer systems. It has a takeoff weight of 5.5 tons and is distinguished by a total payload capacity of 1350 kilograms (2,976 pounds) – 400 kilograms internal and 950 kilograms external.

The platform has a wingspan of 20 meters (65 feet) with its unique twisted wing structure. It promises high flight safety thanks to its fully automatic flight control and triple redundant autopilot system.

Akıncı will be equipped with locally produced Active Array Scanning Array (AESA) radar and Gökdoğan and Bozdoğan air-to-air missiles. It will be able to launch several types of locally made ammunition, such as ranged missiles (SOM).

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