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Monthly Defence News Recap: November 2021

This week’s Quwa Premium article is a recap of some defence news items from around the world. Besides a basic overview of the news item, this article also offers short-form analysis of each topic.

Kazakhstan to Reportedly Buy 3 Anka UAVs

Turkish news outlet HaberTürk reported that Kazakhstan ordered three Anka unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). If accurate, this would be TAI’s second Anka sale. The first was the sale of three Anka-S UAVs to Tunisia for $80 million U.S.

The TAI Anka is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,700 kg and offers a payload of 250 kg, which it can utilize for surveillance equipment and precision-guided air-to-surface munitions. TAI offers multiple variants of the Anka UAV, but the mainstay variant seems to be the Anka-S, a satellite-communications (SATCOM)-equipped system. The Anka-S can operate at beyond-line-of-sight (BLoS) ranges. Without SATCOM, the standard Anka-S can operate at a range of over 250 km… (end-of-excerpt, log in or subscribe to Quwa Premium to finish article).

Images Suggest Pakistan’s Type 054A/Ps Will Use CM-302s

New close-up images of the Pakistan Navy’s (PN) new Type 054A/P frigate, PNS Tughril, indicate that the new warships are coming equipped with the CM-302 supersonic anti-ship cruising missile (ASCM). It was evident that the Tughril-class was not configured with the standard 2×4 C-802 ASCM load-out, but it was not clear what type of missile the PN chosen (i.e. CM-302 or CM-401)… (end-of-excerpt, log in or subscribe to Quwa Premium to finish article).

Is Pakistan Inducting the TPS-77 MRR?

During the 2021 Dubai Air Show, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) indicated that it is overhauling the Lockheed Martin TPS-77 MRR (Multirole Radar). In March 2020, the Directorate of Procurement (Air) had issued a tender for radomes for TPS-77 MRR, suggesting that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was procuring the radar. In 2017-2018, the PAF disclosed that it ordered 10 low-level radars for $130 million U.S… (end-of-excerpt, log in or subscribe to Quwa Premium to finish article).

Analysis: Are Sub-1,000 kg UAVs a Distinct Class of Drone?

For years, many major militaries have aspired to acquire or develop drones that were similar in capability and size to the American Predator-series. Programs such as the TAI Anka, AVIC Wing Loong, and the PAC MALE UAV point towards a 1,000 kg to 1,500 kg system capable of BLoS ranges (e.g. 1,000+ km).

However, the success of the Bayraktar TB2 shows that smaller – and potentially lower-cost – drones could serve a complementary role. Turkey had used the TB2 for missions against non-state actors and even the air defence assets of organized militaries. It did not worry about losses as, ostensibly, the TB2 is a lower-cost design. It does not need pricier inputs such as SATCOM, a powerful engine, or high-powered mission equipment. Rather, if the focus was kept on low-cost, attritable subsystems, drones with MTOWs of about 500 kg could be effective solutions for directly supporting combat operations… (end-of-excerpt, log in or subscribe to Quwa Premium to finish article).

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