Turkey Ramps Up Armed Drone Development

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The Turkish military is accelerating its drone development programme in response to increased incidence of ISIS mortar attacks across the border. Dozens of Turkish citizens died in attacks since January, and Turkey is eager to put a stop to the assaults, Sputnik News reports.

“The best method is to monitor the region [under ISIS’ control] and mobile threats, and to have capabilities to hit the threat at its origin…like armed drones,” said Ismail Demir, Turkey’s chief procurement official.

The efforts is already producing noticeable results, with a successful testing of Bayraktar UAV at the end of April. Bayraktar is armed with smart missiles, MAM-L and MAM-Cs,and has a maximum payload of some 650kg. Currently, development is focused on replacing the American-made signals intelligence systems with Turkey’s homegrown BSI-101 SIGINT system.

“We are so proud…with tears in our eyes,” tweeted Demir after Bayraktar’s first test.

The Kale-Baykar group, who is in charge of Bayraktar’s development, says that the work on it brought about a spate of technological developments, including triple-backup flight control systems, a static pilot system, inertial navigation and GPS systems, and more.

Additionally, work is being done on arming its Anka medium-altitude, long-endurance surveillance drone. Anka can operate at an altitude of over 9,000m for up to 24 hours with a payload of 200kg.

Anka S, the armed successor to the current version, will be provided with satellite communication capabilities. Work on it began in 2014 and the Anka S is expected to be completed by 2017 by Turkish Aerospace Industries.

Until work on these projects is complete, Turkey has to rely on American-made MQ-1 Predator drones for its anti-ISIS operations.