IDEF 2013: Turkey launches armed UAV project
The work will be carried out by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), using its Anka medium altitude long-endurance UAV as the point of departure for development of the SIHA, which is expected to weigh around 5000 kg with an external payload capacity of 1000 to 1500 kg.
While SIHA will be significantly larger than the 1500 kg Anka, which is currently designed for ISR purposes only, the company believes the Ankas sophisticated avionics and flight control software would be a functional fit for the SIHA.
The new UAV is expected to have an endurance of more than 20 hours, a ceiling of 40,000 feet, and a cruise speed of around 200 to 250 kts. TEI will develop a new indigenous turboprop engine for the project.
Under the TAFs concept of operations, the SIHA would have a dual ISR/armed strike role and would be equipped with air-to-ground missiles and laser guided bombs.
Olez said that TAIs experience with the Anka left it confident about the development of the airframe and the challenge would be the development of the mission systems and weaponisation of the platform.
Meanwhile, under Turkeys UAV roadmap, the programme currently projected to follow SIHA will be the National Unmanned Combat Aircraft (MISU). This is forecast to be delivered to the TAF by 2030 with the first squadron stood up by 2035.
The future development of the SIHA and MISU is characteristically ambitious of Turkeys defence industry and reflects a constant progression of UAV development.
Source: by Tony Skinner in Istanbul, Shephard Media News - 9 May 2013
Photo: Turkey is moving ahead with plans to develop an indigenous armed UAV to meet Turkish Air Force (TUAF) requirements. (Photo by XairForces.net)
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