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TAI’S UAV “ANKA” ROLLED OUT

Turkey’s Center of Aerospace, Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc.(TAI) introduced its first operative-class unmanned aerial vehicle named ANKA with a ceremony. In the ceremony that took place at TAI’s Ak?nc? facilities, Chi

Issue 23

Drawing attention to the fact that the rate of projects from overseas direct purchases had dropped below 10 percent on a cost basis, Gönül said: “As you can see today, we are starting to obtain the concrete results of the priority that we gave to domestic design and production. During the present time, armored vehicles resistant to mines, all types of combat ships, command control systems, modern communications systems, electronic warfare systemsand mini unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) that are designed and manufactured in our country are beginning to be delivered to our Armed Forces.”


Stating that as a result of the work undertaken, defence industry sales had increased threefold to 2.3 billion dollars; exports had increased fourfold to 830 million dollars and annual R&D expenditures had increased tenfold to 500 million dollars, Gönül said that there is now a Turkish company that is among the largest 100 defence industry companies in the world. Expressing his view that important ground had been covered in integrating defence industry activities with the domestic industry and technology base, Gönül said that hundreds of KOBIs had reached the manufacturing standards for the defence industry.


Gönül also mentioned that the R&D potential at universities and research institutes had to a large extent been fulfilled. Gönül indicated that starting at the beginning of the 2000s, UAV systems had become a strategic area that had drawn the attention of the world and that within this framework resources allocated to UAV systems within defence expenditures had rapidly increased.


Stating that in the strategic decision adopted at the Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) meeting in May 2004, the design programs started in the areas of mini, tactical and operative-class UAVs had gained momentum, Gönül said: “Within the framework of the roadmap drawn and conscious of the vital importance that UAV systems are to our Armed Forces, we have reached a certain stage in our present industry and technology infrastructure.”


The aerospace industry which includes UAV systems, has made serious progress not only on the basis of platforms but also in infrastructure as well, emphasized Gönül, and stated that a wide spectrum of projects such as platform design, system integration, sensor development and arms integration were continuing successfully.


Gönül said that: “Within the next few years, with the products that we are discussing today entering the inventory of our aerospace systems, our defence industry will enable our Armed Forces to reach the level of a power factor.


The Undersecretary for Defence Industries, Murad Bayar stated that UAVs within the defence industry, as among the basic targets in obtaining a level that brings effective solutions to the requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces, had today reached an important stage.


Expressing the view that work on UAVs in Turkey had been taken up at the beginning of the 1990s parallel to the rest of the world, Bayar said that a R&D project started with a modest budget at that time by the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) and later the purchase of a system for the purpose of experiments were the first activities realized in this area.


Mentioning that the turning point on this subject came with the decision taken by the SSIK in 2004 and that within a wide range, UAV projects had commenced, Bayar went on to add: “Within this framework a two stage approach was adopted: purchasing a certain amount in the short-term to meet the requirements, and for the requirements in the long-term, meeting these with domestic design and development methods was decided during our Commander’s Deputy Chief of General Staff tenure as a result of comprehensive work realized at the Chief of General Staff Headquarters.”


Bayar stated that ten Heron aircraft and three Aerostar aircraft was purchased within this context and made available for the use of the Turkish Armed Forces. With an important decision adopted during the project relating to Heron aircrafts, the ASELSAN designed ASELFLIR-300T system for night and day visibility and target acquisition was integrated to the aircrafts, and that today the system is effectively undertaking its duties, said Bayar.


Stating that within the coverage of domestic development, the mini UAV and the mini helicopter systems have been developed in Turkey and entered into the inventory, Bayar noted that these systems are being used by the Land Forces Command, the Gendarmerie General Command and the Special Forces Command.


As a result of a prototype competition that took place last year; two firms with their own resources had succeeded in flying tactical UAV systems for nearly ten hours at an altitude of 20,000 feet indicated Bayar, and that their objective was for both firms to complete their development and sign a contract in the following months for the manufacture of the first systems and thereby officially commence with the project.


“Today starting with its flight preparation, the ANKA UAV system seeks to be the best system in its category and suitable to international standards and realized its design and development with an approximately 107 million dollar budget and is an ‘operative’ level system,” noted Bayar.


Emphasizing that the system introduced today is not just made up of an aircraft fuselage, but where the product ground control stations to data links, from the task computer to the FLIR and SAR radars and from the composite air vehicles to programming was developed within a system as a whole and is an integrated technological product, Bayar also indicated that the laboratory tests and the sub-system tests were realized within a large framework.


Hereafter they would commence with a comprehensive test flight program, noted Bayar, and stated that as a result of the test program, a prototype design where its reliability has been verified and optimized would be completed in 2011whereby the multiple production stage would be reached, and that their goal was to start delivery of the first manufactured system in 2012.


Bayar went on to add that: “Turkey has now reached the position where she has 168 mini UAVs which are used in an operational environment where two tactical prototype UAVs has successfully flown near ten hours at an altitude of 20,000 feet and where the target of designing and manufacturing stages of an operative-class UAV that has a 24 hours endurance capability at 30,000 feet altitude has been completed. In reaching this stage, using to the full extent of the strength of domestic industry and technology has played a decisive role.”


Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. President and CEO Muharrem Dörtka?l? stated that the Turkish Unmanned Air Vehicle (T?HA) ANKA has a 17 m wingspan, a 1,600 kg take-off weight and is the highest capacity vehicle in its own class.


Speaking at the roll out ceremony at TAI’s Ak?nc? facilities on the occasion of ANKA leaving the hanger, Dörtka?l? spoke on the vehicle’s technical features. With nearly 7,000 pieces and consisting to a large extent of carbon composite materials, care was given to the low visibility of the fuselage, wings and radar stated Dörtka?l? and that the vehicle has a 155 HP diesel engine with a 24 hours endurance capability.


Dörtka?l? emphasized that with a 200 kg useful payload weight, it is bigger than its rivals in the same class.


Underlining that ANKA’s transportability is easy, it can be transported to any required location by C-130 transport planes, said Dörtka?l?.


Muharrem Dörtka?l? stated that 40 percent of the project was built by domestic industry and that, in addition, approximately 20 percent was allocated to the purchase of materials.


In 2004, the Turkish Armed Forces assessed its operative-class UAV requirements as 40 vehicles. With the decision of the SSIK, the commencement of an indigenous UAV and during its development stage, the purchase of 3 systems made up of 10 vehicles for emergency requirements was agreed on. In the direct tender, competing against the Predator, the Heron won.


On 24 December 2004, an agreement was signed between the SSM and TAI on an indigenous “operative” system that encompassed 3 vehicles and ground systems. In the first phases of the program, at SSM’s request, feasibility studies on a “strategic” class UAV was conducted. Based on developing requirements, in 2007 a decision was taken to continue with the “operative” UAV system. The program’s administrative model was converted from a fixed cost to monthly progress payments of cost plus method.


Within the program’s coverage, a UAV system comprising of 3 vehicles, 1 ground control station, 2 ground data terminals, 3 day/night cameras, 2 radars and 1 automatic take-off and landing system was requested to be domestically developed.


Able to conduct day and night surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence with a 17 m wingspan, 9 m length with a height of 1.70 m, the “operative” UAV ANKA is a system whose flight can be pre-planned and altered during autonomous flight with an automatic take-off and landing capability. ANKA will initially reach 23,000 feet with an 18 hours endurance capability and later will have 30,000 feet service ceiling with a 24 hours endurance capability.


The vehicle registers data by taking pictures and forwarding them to the ground control station and aside from surveillance, reconnaissance and real time image intelligence also provides the opportunity for communications and electronic warfare. Classified within the operative UAV class, ANKA’s task computer was built by ASELSAN. ANKA will continue with its tests during this year and will be fitted with a night vision camera next year. ANKA will also be equipped with a radar system that will provide vision from behind clouds. ASELSAN, Milsoft, Savronik, TEI, STM and Pavo are also participating in the project.


Having received 10 vehicle orders from the Turkish Armed Forces, TAI will deliver them at the end of 2012 or no later than 2013.


ANKA Basic Specifications


- Flight endurance: 24 hours


- Service ceiling: 30,000 feet


- Composite fuselage


- Diesel engine


- Foldable landing teams


- Anti-icing system


-Reserve electric power generation


- Reserve flight control system


- 200+ kg useful load capacity


- Autonomous flight and navigation


- Reserve automatic take-off and landing


ANKA Task Systems


-ASELFLIR-300T EO/IR/LD/LRF camera and with a LN-100G, day/night surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence capabilities


-SAR/GMTI-ISAR with reconnaissance and moving target detection capability behind clouds


- A Data Recording System that records useful load data and playbacks the data


- A Task Computer that manages useful load and UHF/VHF Wireless System according to commands from the GCS or Task Plan


ANKA Automatic Take-off and Landing System


- Radar based


- GPS backup


-High reliability and integrity


-Automatic take-off and landing capability under all weather conditions and zero vision


ANKA Ground Control Station


-Task planning, control and follow up


-NATO ACEIII standard protection


-Two Command -Control Consoles with switchable roles for the Pilot and Useful Load Operator


-Communication with the Command -Control Center


-Fixed or transportable by truck


ANKA Data Link System


-Live data transmission between Air Vehicle and Ground Control Station


-Link backup


-Vision line 200 km communication range


-Protection against scrambling


- Communication with control towers over data link


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