Turkey’s first drone airplane called Anka is seen during a roll out ceremony at the Turkish Aerospace Space Industries, or TAI, near Ankara.
Turkey is striving to bolster its unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, fleet through international means, as domestic work to develop large pilotless aircraft has been faltering.
Turkish Aerospace Industries, or TAI, has been developing the Anka UAV, a medium-altitude, long-endurance, or MALE, aircraft, but the platform has crashed in all of its test flights over the past year. MALE UAVs can fly at an altitude of up to 30,000 feet (9 kilometers), carrying 200 kilograms for more than a day.In late December, the first Anka completed its debut flight with 14 minutes of cruising. In early May it flew for 90 minutes. Last week the aircraft flew even longer. But the authorities have faced landing problems. In all three cases, the vehicles crash-landed, partly destroying the aircraft. One defense analyst suggested that while landing the wind under the aircraft’s vast wings disturbed its balance and, as the landing gears are so close to each other, forced the vehicle to land on one of its wings.
One of the drones crashed, a few of them are back in Israel for structural upgrades and the rest are operational. Some analysts suggest that Turkey would like to replace the Herons in the short term with the Predator as trust is low with Israel. In addition TAI in May signed an agreement with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company consortium to take part in the group’s planned Talarion UAV. “Among them, our top priority will be the full functioning of our own UAV, the Anka,” the TAI official said.