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Turkey’s Latest, Cutting-Edge Armed Drone ‘Akinci’ Hits Another Big Milestone

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Turkey’s cutting-edge UCAV “Bayraktar Akinci” has achieved another milestone in development with its second prototype successfully completing its maiden flight.

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The flight test was carried out at Bayraktar Akinci Flight and Training Centre at the Çorlu Airport Base Command, in northwestern Turkey’s Tekirdağ province on Thursday.  The drone, which took off at 17:28 local time stayed in the air for more than one hour as part of its System Verification and Identification Test. The first prototype has already cleared two test flights.

“Our drone successfully completed all the test phases”, stated Selcuk Bayraktar, the company’s Chief Technical Officer. Baykar Makina is the Turkish company working on the development of Akinci.

The UCAV is expected to carry a host of air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons- ranging from unguided bombs to precision-attack smart munitions including the SOM ALCM (Air-Launched Cruise Missile).

The first test aircraft conducted its maiden flight on December 6th last year. The prototype, termed “PT-1” also concluded its second test flight on January the 10th, during which it stayed in the air for more than one hour reaching the altitude of 5,000 feet.

The drone’s 3rd prototype is undergoing integration at Baykar Makina’s research center, with expected delivery by the end of this year.

According to the Defense Turkey Magazine, the UCAV is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics. “AKINCI UAV will have a 20m wingspan, is 12,5m long and 4,1m high and to be equipped with indigenously developed SatCom, CATS FLIR, Wide Area Surveillance System, ELINT/SIGINT System, ESM Pod, Collision Avoidance System, Multi-role AESA Air Radar and a SAR/GMTI Radar”, it stated.

Baykar Makina’s General Manager Haluk Bayraktar said that the Akinci UAV “will have the most developed state-of-the art technology in its own class within three years”, referring to avionics and weapons load expected to be carried by the system.

According to more specifications released, the Akinci shall have a flight endurance of 24 hours and service ceiling of 40,000 feet with a payload capacity of 1,350 kg- which includes 900 kg external (and can be carried at 6 hardpoints) along with 450 kg of internal payload.

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