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Fixed-Wing Loitering Munition ALPAGU to be in the Inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces by the End of 2020!

Issue 100

The Turkish Armed Forces has initiated the active use of “kamikaze drones” on the battlefield and these drones are becoming diversified. While STM continues the delivery of rotary wing kamikaze drones also dubbed KARGU, activities on the fixed-wing loitering munition ALPAGU have come to an end. The ALPAGU will become available for use by security forces towards the end of the year.

The ALPAGU is categorized as a fixed wing tube-launched loitering munition that can be deployed and operated by one personnel and has been specifically engineered for asymmetric or conventional warfare. This system consists of a fixed wing Kamikaze drone, a launcher tube and ground control units. 

Deliveries of Autonomous Rotary Wing Attack UAV KARGU to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) continue. This drone system features the functions of the acquisition of potential targets in urbanized terrain and in-flight abort if required, while with its lightweight structure, diving speed, low radar cross section and speed ALPAGU, presently under final test phase, is capable of precisely hitting critical or high value targets. Weighing less than 2 kg, and despite its relatively small size and lightweight, the ALPAGU is able to carry explosives that could neutralize its targets. There are only two platforms in the world (Israel and US) at this size and with similar features. 

Moreover, on account of the embedded artificial intelligence and image processing algorithms, its silent operation, capability of delivering the explosives it carries to the target and loitering munition capability, the ALPAGU will play a crucial part in the execution of invasions and surprise attacks in the operational field against as well. 

According to the information that was presented during IDEF’19, the ALPAGU can be deployed by single personnel and rapidly fired from a launcher on the site. Launched from a tube and capable of operating at an altitude of 400 m and a range of 5 km, with its 10 minutes’ endurance and loitering capabilities, the ALPAGU can destroy the target by diving towards the target at a speed of 140 km and airburst on the target over a distance of 8m. 

ALPAGU are planned to be utilized in blocks (Block-I-II-III-IV) in due course. The ALPAGU also has larger versions with longer ranges and higher speeds, capable of engaging greater targets over 10 kg and carrying more explosives as well. On account of the capability of developing small sized platforms weighing less than 2 kg, activities are being conducted to render these drones into larger platforms in the near future. In addition to the version that could be launched through a launch tube by single personnel, various configurations are being developed that could be launched from armored vehicles or ship-based multiple launchers and that are planned to be integrated to unmanned air platforms such as AKINCI & ANKA. 

ALPAGU and KARGU team up as Swarm Drones! 

Furthermore, the ALPAGU will also be able to perform tasks integrated to Surveillance UAV platforms such as TOGAN with remote sensing, image processing and tracking capabilities. Developing swarm operation capability over the KARGUs, STM aims to launch a utilization concept enabling ALPAGU and KARGU to perform in the same swarm for different types of missions in the upcoming period.