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TAI Anka MALE UAV engages in first air strike (against PKK)

On July 12, the Turkish Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Anka medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) undertook its first armed strike against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The TAI Anka’s first strike

Source: Turkish Ministry of Defence

Notes & Comments:

In the video clip released by the Turkish MoD, the Anka was armed with at least two Roketsan MAM-L air-to-surface missiles. Using the Roketsan UMTAS’ rocket motor technology, the 22.5 kg MAM-L (i.e. Smart Micro Munition) is designed for use by lightweight aircraft, such as drones.

The attack follows the successful weaponization of the TAI Anka UAV, which was announced by the Turkish MoD in April. Official photos show the Anka configured with MAM-L missiles and CİRİT laser-guided rockets as well as an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensor pod.

Powered by a 155 hp engine, the TAI Anka has a payload of 200 kg, endurance of 24 hours and service ceiling of 9,144 m. Its existing line-of-sight (LoS) communications system provides a range of 200 km.

The armed Anka is Turkey’s second armed drone, with the first being the Kale-Baykar Bayraktar TB2. The Bayraktar TB2 was put into operation use in September through a strike against the PKK.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) are also slated to receive satellite-communications (SATCOM)-equipped Anka-S UAVs in 2017. Under a 2013 contract, 10 systems are on order and are to be delivered by 2018. Satellite connectivity will enable the TSK to use the Anka beyond its 200 km LoS range.

Along with the T129 ATAK and Hürkuş, the Anka is in TAI’s catalogue for domestic and overseas markets. Like the ATAK and Hürkuş, the Turkish Undersecretariat of Defence Industries (SSM) views the Anka as a medium for further indigenization of technologies. To accompany the Anka’s domestically produced EO/IR pod and weapons, Tusaş Engine Industries is reportedly developing a 170 hp engine for the Anka.

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