In the military sphere the "mini" Unmanned Aerial System (Mini UAS) is a growing offshoot of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) field and involves a man-portable, unmanned system suitable for use at the squad-level - often hand-launched and easily recoverable. Many manufacturers have since jumped at the chance to deliver such a product to the lucrative market and more and more are on the way. For the nation of Turkey, once largely reliant on foreign technology to strengthen its military standing in the Middle East, it is now able to look for solutions from within - and, in 2007, Baykar Makina delivered its homegrown Bayraktar Mini UAS to the Turkish Armed Forces.
A first-flight of this UAS was recorded in October of 2006. Production has since exceeded 500 units.
The Mini UAS supplies ground forces with an easy-to-use, quick-reaction local Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) capability. It features an automatic take-off, landing, and waypoint management system, encrypted communications feeds, and automated tracking. It is hand-launched by the operator and can be managed through a Ground Control Station (GCS) if need be while retrieval is by way of belly-landing or - in emergencies - deployable parachute. The aircraft can be communicated to up to a range of 10 kilometers and the aircraft is cleared to operate at altitudes of 12,000 feet. Endurance is up to 60 minutes.
Dimensions include an overall length of 1.2 meters and a wingspan of 1.6 meters. Weight comes in at 3.5 kilograms. Drive power is from an electric battery operated arrangement.
Two major variants of the Bayraktar have been developed: "Bayraktar A" and "Bayraktar B". The latter has a wider wingspan with slightly enhanced over-battlefield capabilities. The A-model carries a CCD and thermal camera in fixed mountings while the B-model carries the same such arrangement though in trainable mountings for greater tactical flexibility.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
3.9 ft (1.20 m)
6.6 ft (2.00 m)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Bayraktar Mini production variant)
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