Turkish Company Reveals Carrier UCAV Concept
September 13, 2021

Turkish Company Reveals Carrier UCAV Concept

In July 2021, the Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar Makina revealed the MIUS, its concept for a carrier-capable unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV).[1] One of the MIUS UCAV’s marque features is that it will be able to take-off and land from Turkey’s landing helicopter dock (LHD), TCG Anadolu, without the need for a catapult.[2] Currently, Turkey is exploring the MIUS as an alternative jet-powered, fixed-wing solution for the TCG Anadolu’s combat aircraft group. Turkey originally intended to deploy the Lockheed Martin F-35B from the LHD, but the Lightning II is no longer option due to a chill in relations between Ankara and Washington (following Turkey’s procurement of S-400 air defence systems from Russia).

The MIUS will reportedly offer a payload of 1,500 kg and flight endurance of five hours. Baykar Makina is designing the MIUS to reach a top speed of Mach 0.64.[3] Turkey intends to equip the MIUS with air-to-air missiles (AAM), air-to-surface munitions, and, reportedly, air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM). According to Selçuk Bayraktar, Baykar Makina’s CTO, the MIUS will also draw on artificial intelligence (AI) and other automation technologies so that MIUS UCAVs can operate autonomously.[4] The MIUS may use the Motor Sich AI-25 turbofan engine.[5]

The current target date for the MIUS’ maiden test flight is reportedly in 2023.[6] In its concept illustrations of the MIUS, Baykar Makina also revealed the Bayraktar TB-3, which will be an enlarged variant of the TB-2 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Though Turkey is studying the idea of developing a manned fixed-wing carrier-borne fighter (potentially based on the Hürjet trainer), its initial vision for the LHD’s aviation wing centers on deploying drones.[7]

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[1] Baykar Makina via Twitter. 20 July 2021. URL: https://twitter.com/Baykar_Savunma/status/1417378870064525330

[2] Tayfun Ozberk. “Turkey To Deploy MIUS Unmanned Combat Aircraft From LHD Anadolu.” Naval News. 22 July 2021. URL: https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/07/turkey-to-deploy-mius-unmanned-combat-aircraft-from-lhd-anadolu/

[3] “Turkey reveals details of unmanned fighter jet project.” Daily Sabah. 04 August 2021. URL: https://www.dailysabah.com/business/defense/turkey-reveals-details-of-unmanned-fighter-jet-project

[4] Cem Devrim Yaylali. “Baykar Makina unveils MIUS UCAV concept.” Jane’s Defence Weekly. 26 July 2021. URL: https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/baykar-makina-unveils-mius-ucav-concept

[5] Tayfun Ozberk. “Baykar eyes first flight for MIUS in 2023.” Shephard Media. 23 July 2021. URL: https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/air-warfare/baykar-eyes-first-flight-mius-2023/

[6] Ibid.

[7] “Aircraft carrier version of the HÜRJET fighter jet may come.” Railly News. 30 March 2021. URL: https://www.raillynews.com/2021/03/Aircraft-version-of-the-hurjet-warplane-may-arrive/

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