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Turkey Announces Akya Heavyweight Torpedo Tests

On 16 January 2020, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, highlighted the progress the country was making with its defence industry. In the list of achievements Erdoğan cited, the Turkish president also announced that the country tested its own heavyweight anti-submarine warfare torpedo, the AKYA.

The AKYA heavyweight torpedo (HWT) will reportedly have a length of 7 m and diameter of 533 mm. The HWT will weigh 1.2 tons and have a range of 15 km at a cruising speed of 40 knots. It will rely on a fiber-optic wire-guidance system alongside active and passive acoustic sonars.

Development of the AKYA had reportedly been ongoing since 2009, when Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) signed a 24 million Euro development contract with Roketsan, TÜBİTAK and the Turkish Naval Research Center Command (ARMERKOM).

There were reports of Turkey test firing the indigenously developed torpedo in 2013. However, the AKYA gained additional development momentum in 2016-2017. The SSM announced that the AKYA HWT would be completed in two development phases in 2020 and 2021.

As with all of Turkey’s indigenous munition programs, one of the main purposes of the AKYA is to eliminate Turkey’s reliance on foreign systems. In turn, the country hopes to both save on costs and protect itself from supply interruptions or pressure from foreign governments.

In terms of maritime weapons, Turkey is also in the process of inducting its own anti-ship cruising missiles (ASCM), the Atmaca, which it recently tested from a MILGEM corvette. Turkey is also developing its own lightweight torpedo, the ORCA, which it will likely use from aircraft and surface warships.

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