Turkey’s newest Akıncı UCAV is already on a mission over Syria

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ANKARA ($1=18.50 Turkish Liras) — Turkey’s newest HALE Akıncı UCAV was spotted over Syria. A photo with his image was provided by the Twitter account Clash Report. “Bayraktar AKINCI UCAV in the skies of northern Syria,” reads the short tweet.

Screenshot

HALE Akıncı UCAV in Syria is an event. The reason: not even twelve months have passed since its official presentation to the world and its commissioning in the Turkish Air Force, and the drone is already carrying out a combat mission over Syria. The photo shows that the drone is not armed. This suggests that the mission it is currently performing is reconnaissance or surveillance.

The C4ISR systems into Akinci

This UCAV is the last word in Turkish drone technology. It is equipped with an active electronically scanned array [AESA] radar. The drone has a satellite communication system [SATCOM] and ISTAR+C3 asset – this means a direct connection with the Turkish command, without the communication passing through foreign satellites or third countries.

HALE Akıncı UCAV can be used as a powerful espionage tool as it can intercept foreign signals. Akıncı is done through the Signals Intelligence Integrated System, or SIGINT for short.

Akinci armament

The combat capabilities of the drone are also not to be underestimated at. It can carry all types of Turkish air-to-air missiles as well as other Western-designed missiles. Akıncı can carry jamming missiles or air-to-ground missiles. It has an integrated electronic warfare system.

During a combat mission, the HALE Akıncı UCAV is additionally armed with bombs that use so-called precision bomb kits. I.e. Every dump bomb becomes a homing bomb as it now has GPS/INS guidance. Additionally, the Turks can arm the drone with the so-called MAM [smart micro munitions in Turkish].

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Two Ivchenko-Progress Motor Sich AI-450T turboprop engines of 650kW each propel Akıncı into the air. They guarantee it a 361 km/h [224 mph, 195 kn] top speed and at least a 240 km/h [150 mph, 130 kn] cruise speed. The drone’s best operating altitude is just over 9,000 meters, although it can fly at over 13,000 meters. With a full tank of fuel, the drone travels 7,500 km.

At the moment, 12 units of this drone are in service with the Turkish army, and apparently at least one is on a mission in Syria. The potential future operators of HALE Akıncı UCAV are Azerbaijan and Pakistan.

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