No landing: Turkish Akinci UCAV flies over three countries

ANKARA ($1=15.96 Turkish Liras) — The Bayraktar Akinci HALE [High-Altitude Long-Endurance], which was developed at the national level in Turkey and implemented under the leadership of the Presidency of the Defense Industries, has achieved new success.

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

Two Bayraktar Akinci HALEs, which will be exhibited in both the static zone and the dynamic zone, at the TEKNOFEST Azerbaijan aerospace and technology festival, arrived in Azerbaijan after a long flight. Bayraktar Akinci HALE, which took off from Corlu [Turkey] on the morning of May 21st to take part in the festival, continued its flight over Georgia after crossing Turkish airspace.

Akinci HALE, which entered Azerbaijani airspace after passing through Georgia, reached Baku in about 5 hours. The second Akinci HALE, which left at noon, followed the same route and successfully completed a flight of approximately 2000 km. Bayraktar Akinci HALE, which successfully completed their flights, landed at Baku Haidar Aliyev International Airport and completed the historic trip.

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

About 2,000 km

Thus, for the first time in Turkish aviation history, a nationally developed UAV passed through 3 countries and traveled approximately 2,000 km. Both drones had a long and successful flight. Bayraktar Akinci HALE, which recently conducted a successful sea surface shooting test with the Teber-82 Guidance Kit, developed by Roketsan, also holds the record for altitude in Turkey’s national aviation history. Continuing its test flights, Bayraktar Akinci HALE broke the record for altitude in Turkish aviation history by climbing to an altitude of 40,170 feet in its test flight on March 11, 2022.

On an operational mission

Bayraktar Akinci HALE, which entered the inventory with a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on August 29, 2021, is currently being actively used by Turkish security forces in operational duties. So far, 6 Bayraktar Akinci HALEs have entered the inventory of the security forces.

Exports to three countries

Export agreements have been signed with three countries for Bayraktar Akinci HALE. Under the contracts, Bayraktar Akinci HALE and ground systems are expected to be delivered periodically from 2023. Realizing its first national UAV exports in 2012, Baykar 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 Akinci HALE.

Photo credit: Bayraktar

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.

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.

Photo credit: Bayraktar

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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