Turkish Akinci UAV broke national record by flying 12.2 km altitude

ANKARA, ($1=14.77 Turkish Liras) — Continuing its test flights, Bayraktar Akinci-B set a record in flight at maximum altitude in Turkish aviation, reaching an altitude of 12.2 km [40,170 feet]. The record was set during a test held on March 11, 2022, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing SavunmaSanayiST.com.

Turkey tested second prototype of Akinci attack drone with a new engine
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Akinci-B UAV model was developed by Bayraktar with local and national funds within the AKINCI project and implemented under the leadership of the Presidency of the Defense Industry. Akinci-B UAV is powered by two engines of 750 horsepower or a total of 1,500 horsepower.

The altitude of 1.2 km was reached during a test flight in the sky over Corlu in winter weather conditions. With this flight, the Akinci-B UAV is already recorded for the first time in Turkish history on a flight performed by a Turkish drone at the highest altitude.

Turkish UAVs have changed the rules of the game, Akinci is next
Photo credit: Bayraktar

The old record

Bayraktar Akinci, who entered the Turkish army with a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on August 29, 2021, also holds the old record of the Turkish aviation industry, reaching 11.6 km [38,039 feet] on July 8. 2021. Turkey is currently actively using Bayraktar Akinci both for the protection of the Turkish territory and for operational tasks. So far, 6 Bayraktar Akinci have joined the Turkish security forces.

The Akinci UAV is already being exported

According to SavunmaSanayiST.com, Turkey has signed export agreements with two countries for Bayraktar Akinci. According to sources, the contracts were signed on February 22 and March 2 this year, but it is not reported who the two clients are. Under the contracts, Bayraktar Akinci and ground-based systems are expected to be delivered periodically from 2023.

Realizing its first national UAV exports in 2012, Bayraktar completed exports of the $ 664 million S / UAV system in 2021, generating more than 80% of its export earnings. Negotiations continue with many countries interested in the National Bayraktar Akinci.

What Akinci UAV is?

Akıncı [Turkish – type of light cavalry] is a new generation strike unmanned aerial vehicle and one of the first projects of the Ukrainian-Turkish joint venture “Black Sea Shield”. The main purpose of Akıncı is to conduct operational and strategic air reconnaissance, as well as airstrikes on enemy targets.

Photo credit: Bayraktar

The wingspan of Akıncı is 20 meters and the length of the fuselage is 12.3 meters. The maximum takeoff weight of the drone is 5500 kg. It is equipped with surveillance systems: from thermal imagers and powerful cameras, radars with an active phased array antenna and various sensors.

The first test flight of the prototype of the new Akıncı strike drone took place on December 6, 2019, the aircraft was equipped with Ukrainian AI-450T engines developed by Ivchenko-Progress. This Ukrainian company in the period from 2018 to the first quarter of 2020 exported to Turkey at least 12 of these engines. Akinci can be fitted with one of three types of turboprop engines with 225, 450, and 750 hp. It is expected that Baykar will continue to use Ukrainian-made power plants for the mass production of Akinci.

Akıncı can stay in the air for up to 24 hours. The operational range of the UAV is 250 km [when using SATCOM – unlimited]. The flight speed of the drone is 463 km / h. Payload weight – 1350 kg [450 internal and 900 – hinged load].


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