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Wed, Jan 03, 2024

Turkish ANKA-3 Takes Flight

Stealth Drones for the Rest of the World

Turkish Aerospace Industries sent its ANKA-3 stealth drone up into the air for the first time, stimulating conversation in would-be clientele about the availability of a stealthy, uncrewed aerial drone smaller buyers could actually afford.

The Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle, as TAI designates their new baby, hit a top speed of 150 knots at 8,000 feet during its 70-minute test flight. The ANKA-3 aims to be everything a modern competitor in the military drone game should be today - stealthy, sleek, intelligent, and capable - but in typical Turkish defense fashion, more affordable than its competitors at NATO would price theirs. Of course, price isn't the only draw. TAI said the ANKA-3 provides a "low radar signature, expandable payload and high top speed" that will allow the flying wing design plenty of chances to impress buyers over battlefields to come. If nothing else, TAI can hope to replicate some of the memetic output enjoyed by Baykar's Bayraktar TB2. That competitor saw some brief virality in the early months of the Ukrainian fight thanks to some choice memes and notable footage.

The ANKA-3 will have the usual roster of missions assigned to a stealthy, pancaked little UAV, being assigned to intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance when so equipped. Thanks to TAI' choice to break the Turkish drone routine and make it jet powered, it sports a payload of 1,200 kg/2,645 lbs, a ceiling of 39,000 ft (12,000 m), and a top speed north of 530 mph (860 kmh). That payload isn't all internal, however, being limited to carrying its munitions in underwing pylons in a decidedly un-stealthy fashion. It can carry about 1,430 lbs (650kg) inside its fuselage, with the rest mounted on its inner and outer wing stations. At the moment, it's expected to fire the SOM air-launched cruise missile as a 'flagship' munition, with support for more mundane equipment like unguided Mk82s.

FMI: https://www.tusas.com/en

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