The Turkish Ministry of Defense announced the delivery and shared images from the ceremony on its official Twitter account. It’s worth noting that Aksungur was photographed at the ceremony with 12 MAM-L smart munitions.
Ismail Demir, Turkey’s top procurement official, congratulated the delivery on Twitter, emphasizing the drone’s significant payload capacity and flying endurance. “TAI’s domestic and national AKSUNGUR UCAV successfully completed tests and was delivered to the Turkish Navy. The payload capacity of the UCAV is 750 kg, and the maximum flight period is at least 50 hours.” Demir said.
TAI loaded 12 MAM-L smart munitions to the drone for pre-delivery testing, and the UAV stayed in the air for a total of 28 hours at the height of 20 thousand feet.
The Turkish Navy’s Aksungur unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be designated the hook number TCB881 and deployed at Dalaman Naval Air Base in Mugla. The Turkish Navy currently has ten TB-2 Bayraktar UCAVs, two ANKA-S UAVs, and four ANKA-B UAVs in its inventory. Aksungur is the Turkish Navy’s 17th UAV.
TAI has manufactured two prototypes to date. The first Aksungur UAV is now being used for firefighting purposes by the Turkish General Directorate of Forestry, while the second has been given to the Turkish Navy. In addition, TAI has commenced mass production and plans to have four drones completed by the end of the year.
With its large payload capacity, Aksungur can undertake continuous multi-role intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and assault missions and give operational flexibility outside the line of sight with its SATCOM payload.
TAI has been working for about a year to deliver Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) capability to Aksungur. After completing the project, Aksungur will launch and monitor sonobuoys and share the information gained from sonobuoys with other ASW assets in the area. The exact timetable is yet to be known; according to the statements of TAI officials at different times, TAI expects to carry out the actual sonobuoy launch in the first half of 2022. If TAI’s goal is met, Aksungur will be the second operational UAV to launch a sonobuoy. General Atomics’ MQ-9B SeaGuardian deployed and released sonobuoys in early 2021.
Aksungur will be a beneficial asset for the Turkish Navy in ASW and surface warfare operations.
Derived from TAI’s combat-proven ANKA UAV, AKSUNGUR is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class UAV System, capable of performing day and night Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and strike missions with EO/IR, SAR and SIGINT payloads, and a variety of air to ground weapons. ANKA-AKSUNGUR is powered by two PD-170 twin-turbocharged diesel engines enabling long-endurance operations up to 40,000ft.
Thanks to the know-how gained from ANKA, TAI developed the Aksungur in 18 months. It made its maiden flight in 2019 and has reached 1000 flight hours since then. During trials, it carried out the live firing at 20,000ft altitude and hit the naval target successfully with a KGK-SIHA-82 guided munition at a range of 30km in the Black Sea on 25 April.
- Wing Span: 24m
- Horizontal Length: 11.6m
- Endurance: >50 hours, with 750 kg of external payload 12 hours at 25 kft
- Engine: 2 x PD-170 Dual Turbo Diesel Engine (170 Horse Power each)
- Max Takeoff Flight: 3300 kg
- Service Ceiling: >40.000 ft
Aksungur has 3 hardpoints on each wing with 500 kg, 300 kg and 150 kg capacities.
- Teber 81 and 82 guidance kits for laser guided Mk 81 and 82 bombs
- MAM-L (16 km) and MAM-C (30 km) smart munitions
- L-UMTAS laser guided missile
- Cirit laser guided missile
- KGK-82 Wing Assisted Guidance Kit
- Small diameter bombs