TAI Aksungur

article - TAI Aksungur

The TAI Aksungur is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the Turkish Armed Forces.[1][3][4][5] Using existing technology from the TAI Anka series of drones, it is the manufacturer’s largest drone[6] with payload capacity for mission-specific equipment. It is intended to be used for long-term surveillance, signals intelligence, maritime patrol missions, or as an unmanned combat aerial vehicle. TAI planned to integrate weapon packages and put the Aksungur into production in early 2020. The first unit was delivered to the Turkish Naval Forces on 20 October 2021.[2]

Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle
Aksungur
TAI Aksungur at the 2019 International Defence Industry Fair in Istanbul, Turkey.
Role Unmanned combat aerial vehicle
Unmanned aerial vehicle
Unmanned tactical surveillance and reconnaissance air vehicle
National origin Turkey
Manufacturer Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)
First flight 20 March 2019[1]
Introduction 20 October 2021[2]
Status In service
Primary user Turkish Armed Forces
Produced 2019 (prototypes)
Number built 6 as of 2020
TAI Aksungur
TAI Aksungur

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Aksungur, Turkish for gyrfalcon,[4] is classified as a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It is designed and manufactured by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for tactical surveillance and reconnaissance missions of the Turkish Armed Forces.[5] The Aksungur has twin turbocharged engines with a twin boom configuration.[1]

Developing the UAV took 18 months.[3][4] The airframe, wing and landing gear are new designs, while control systems are from the existing TAI Anka family of drones.[6][7] A new turbodiesel engine is also in development for the programme, with initial flight tests of the airframe using an existing engine.[8] Two prototypes were manufactured for testing purposes. Its maiden flight, displaying automatictakeoff and landing capabilities, took place on 20 March 2019, and lasted four hours and twenty minutes.[3][4] Reportedly, a second test flight of three hours was performed on 3 April the same year.[1] It was introduced at the 2019 International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul, Turkey, on 30 April.[3][4]CNN Türk reported ongoing flight tests in July 2019,[9] with the manufacturer anticipating a total of 50 to 60 tests by the end of the year.[7] The UAV is planned to go into series production by the first quarter of 2020.[1]

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