Turkish UAVs armed with kamikaze drones – the Syrian experience effect

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WARSAW, (BM) – Based on the experience of armed conflicts, TAI armed the ANKA-S drone with circulating ammunition based on the high-speed flying target Simsek. It carries a 5 kg warhead and is intended primarily for combating enemy anti-aircraft systems from a safe distance.

In an interview with CNN Turk, the CEO of Turkish Aerospace Industries, Temel Kotil, announced that Simsek’s flying targets had been converted into “kamikaze drones with a range of 200 km” and integrated with tactical drones. This information corresponds with the photos of the Anka-S tactical machine with two Simsek airframes suspended under its wings, published by TAI. Flight firing tests have already been carried out. Ultimately, they are also to be prepared for use by the much larger MALE Goksungur drone currently being tested.

While the combat version of the Simsek unmanned aerial vehicle seems to be a fact, some of the information provided by the TAI director appears incomplete. The weight of the 5 kg combat load is reliable and sufficient to combat enemy air defense systems, while 200 km is not so much the combat range but rather the range of the TAI Anka UAV link. It is worth mentioning that the Simsek airframe is a modern construction powered by a jet engine, introduced into service in 2009 to simulate fast-moving air targets. It was used, for example, during the recent test of the Turkish Bozdoga air-to-air missile.

The flying target Şimşek has a link with a range of up to 50 km and can remain in the air for up to 45 minutes, reaching a speed of up to 400 knots (740 km / h). The maximum altitude is 15,000 feet (4,500 m), and the minimum for a flying target is around 350 m, due to the need to keep the radio link antenna in the field of view. This problem will not occur if controlling the UAVs via the Anka-S or Goksungur flying platform.

The combat version is undoubtedly slightly more loaded than the flying target variant, if only because of the 5 kg warhead, but it does not take off from a ground launcher but from under a fixed plane moving at a speed of about 200 km / h and an altitude of at least several hundred meters.

There is no information about the guidance system; however, using the TAI Anka platform, it is possible to guide the UAV directly, even without equipping it with its optoelectronic systems, although it seems logical to use even a simple sensor for guidance in the final phase of the flight. The test specimens suspended under the photographed machine did not have such devices. Still, they can also use a standard system implemented in a flying target, which can follow a predetermined route based on GPS / INS navigation.

The entire project should be assessed as practical and straightforward solutions to the challenges faced by Turkish machines, e.g., in Syria, i.e., fighting the enemy’s air defense systems from a safe distance. Adaptation to the role of circulating ammunition of a fast-moving flying target is proof of the ability to adapt existing solutions and a basis for further development quickly.

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