Turkish UAV Market May Boom After Development
Sky the limit for Turkish UAV market, but not before breakthrough
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market in Turkey is set to flourish in the near future but not before the domestic drone industry makes a successful debut, especially with the ANKA, industry experts and analysts have said.
Turkey's defense industry, dependent on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imports, needs to make a breakthrough to boost its UAV market experts say that could shine out in the future.
When Turkey's military planners grasped more than a decade ago the virtues of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) mostly in their asymmetric warfare against Kurdish separatists, the country was solely dependent on imported drones. Later, the dependency on drones grew exponentially and the Turks decided to build their own. They are still thriving.
Industry experts and analysts agree that the UAV market in Turkey would flourish in the near future, but before that the local industry must make a successful debut.
Turkish procurement authorities said in March that they are preparing to sign a contract for the acquisition of 10 locally made drone systems, dubbed the ANKA. "All eyes are on the ANKA contract," said one source. "Once the ANKAs have started to successfully operate, the Turks will order scores of more, including armed drones."
But a procurement official said the contract may be delayed for a short period more because of a snag concerning the targeting pod. "If the locally developed pod does not fit our specifications, we may opt for a foreign pod," he said.
Turkey's biggest defense company, Aselsan, has been designing and developing the ASELFLIR 235 for the ANKA.
The contract will mark Turkey's first official purchase of drones designed, developed and manufactured indigenously, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), based here and the maker of the ANKA, has said the Turkish drone successfully passed acceptance tests late in January.
The final, decisive tests on Jan. 20-21 involved a full-endurance, 18-hour flight, successful auto landing, data link performance at a distance of 200 kilometers under winds of up to 45 knots, as well as night takeoffs and landings.
The ANKA has so far completed more than 150 flight hours.