Turkey works on a supersonic UAV – both a kamikaze and a target lure
ANKARA, ($1=13.41 Turkish Liras) — The Turkish company for the design and production of military drones Tusas is working on a project of a supersonic aircraft learned BulgarianMilitary.com. According to the company’s deputy general manager Yomer Yildiz, this will be an unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV], which, depending on the mission, can be transformed into a supersonic kamikaze drone or a supersonic lure aircraft [radar fake target].
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“We have increased Simsek’s [the UAV] speed to 450 knots. We are also preparing a supersonic version of it. With it, we aim both to exceed supersonic speeds and to make a high-speed target aircraft that will fly at a speed of Mach 0.8-0.9,” says Yildiz.
Yildiz claims that after increasing the drone’s speed to supersonic, its operator can decide how to use it. If Simsek is loaded with explosives, the drone becomes a kamikaze capable of destroying a target once it is aimed. On the other hand, at this speed, Simsek can look like a fighter or a fake plane on the radar. “If you put another device on Simsek, Simsek may look like an F-4, an F-16, or maybe an F-35. We call these types of planes fake planes,” Yildiz said.
According to the company’s deputy general manager, the UAV operator should not expect to hit very big targets. However, the likelihood that Simsek will perform critical tasks at critical moments is huge, Yildiz said.
The president of Turkish Aerospace Industries, Ismail Demir, agrees. Late last year, he spoke of a “kamikaze drone”, adding that another Turkish company, Rocketsan, was likely to produce explosives that could be shaped like warheads. Ismael Demir said such an air device would have a range of 200 km loaded with 5kg of explosives.
Simsek was born on the drawings of Turkish aeronautical engineers in 2009 and made its first flight three years later. Simsek simulates enemy aircraft and missiles for training in tracking and firing in air-to-air, ground-to-air, anti-aircraft artillery, and missile systems.
Simsek is equipped with a radar amplifier, distance indicator, counter dosing system, and tracking smoke generator. Simsek has a passive infrared [IR] signature.
The TAI first spoke of the idea of turning the drone into a cruise missile or kamikaze drone last year, when Turkey tested its Human-in-the-Loop [HITL] development.
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