The Turkish Joint Venture consists of Meteksan Defence and Ares Shipyard showcased the Port Security (PS) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variants of their ULAQ combat USV for the first time in an exhibition.
The scale model of the ASW variant appeared to be different from earlier depictions. The model was equipped with ASW missiles and a remotely operated weapon station, while previous images showed ULAQ ASW with two light torpedoes as well as sonobuoy launchers. According to Meteksan officials who spoke with Naval News at DIMDEX 2022, the ASW variant can be configured according to customer preferences.
The prototype of ULAQ and the PS variants were also on the stage in Meteksan’s booth in the exhibition. The scale model of the prototype, which completed all the tests last year and currently in mass production, was fitted with a RCWS in addition to the missile launcher, while its predecessor was carrying a missile launcher only.
The PS variant, which completed the live firing test with 12.7 mm RCWS in January 2002, was showcased as well.
Naval News interviewed Selcuk Alpaslan, President of Meteksan, to get further information about ULAQ USV project.
About ULAQ USV
ULAQ is the brand name for the Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) product family developed by ARES Shipyard and Meteksan Defence, which covers a variety of platform types, capabilities, and roles.
ULAQ was first unveiled in October 2020. It has a 400 km range, 65 km/h speed, day/night vision capabilities, and encrypted communication infrastructure, which can be operated from mobile vehicles, navy headquarters, or from sea platforms such as aircraft carriers or frigates. Its missions include intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, surface warfare, asymmetric warfare, escort missions, and strategic infrastructure protection.
The prototype carries a launcher for four laser-guided Cirit missiles and two laser-guided long-range anti-tank missiles (L-UMTAS) produced by Turkish missile manufacturer Roketsan. The ULAQ prototype carried out test-fires of Cirit against a land target on 26-27 May 2021 during the Denizkurdu-2021 exercise of the Turkish Navy. After the firing trials, the anti-surface warfare (ASuW) version completed the acceptance trials.
Following the ASuW version, which is the initial phase of the project, the development will begin on autonomous surface vehicles for intelligence and electronic warfare, mine hunting, anti-submarine warfare, firefighting, and humanitarian aid/evacuation.
ULAQ USV main specifications
- Length: 11 meters
- Speed: 35 knots
- Range: 400 Kilometers
- ASuW – 4x Cirit and 2x UMTAS missiles
- Base/Harbor Protection – 12.7 mm RWS
- ASW – ASW Rockets (can be fitted with LW torpedoes)
- Control station: Can be controlled from ground and sea stations