Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has successfully completed the acceptance testing programme of the Anka medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), validating its mission readiness.
During a test flight that exceeded 18 hours, the UAV demonstrated its full endurance and 200km data link range performances in windy conditions of up to 45k.
The UAV successfully made an automatic landing to end the comprehensive trial programme that featured 130 different ground and flight tests.
Air traffic control (ATC) coordination was achieved by the UAV through an onboard radio, and subsequently relayed to a ground control station (GCS) using a data link, confirming its ability to safely function in an ATC managed airspace.
The UAV also carried out night take-off and landings using its automatic take-off and landing system (ATOLS) during the final test flight at an undisclosed location.
With its initial test flight performed in December 2010, the UAV has to date logged more than 140 flight hours, verifying its flight control, data link, propulsion, fuel, landing gear, environmental control, ice protection and electrical systems and mission systems, such as electro-optical / infra-red (EO/IR) payload, ATC radio and data recorder at an altitude of 26,000ft.
Autopilot, navigation, automatic loiter pattern and ATOLS capabilities of the drone were also validated throughout the testing, which was conducted in adverse weather conditions.
Powered by a single Thielert Centurion 2.0 turbocharged engine, the Anka UAV is designed to conduct real-time image intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), target detection, recognition, identification and tracking missions on the battlefield.
A contract for initial production of ten Anka systems for the Turkish Air Force is currently being negotiated between the company and Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM).
Image: The Anka unmanned aerial vehicle during its acceptance testing programme. Photo courtesy of © 2013 TAI – Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc.