Turkish aerospace industry has made tremendous strides in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the military sphere in the past decade and this through several notable high-profile designs (including its TAI "Anka" line detailed elsewhere on this site). The next logical step becomes indigenous design, development, and manufacture of a combat-capable (UCAV) able to deliver precision munitions at altitude and range. This role is set to be fulfilled by the Baykar Makina "Akinci" which was unveiled at its assembly facility in mid-2018. As it stands, the company hopes to record a first-flight in 2020 and begin deliveries in 2021.
The design carries a twin-turboprop propulsion scheme (each engine driving five-bladed propeller units). The engines are set outboard of a centralized fuselage structure. The wing mainplanes are cranked upwards towards the engine mounts and sport winglets at their tips as a fuel-efficiency measure. A single vertical tailfin is featured at the rear of the aircraft. The frontal section of the fuselage houses the optics (Aselsan Cats) and avionics fit. Under each wing will be three hardpoints (totaling six weapon stations in all) and these will be cleared to carry and deliver in-service Turkish Air Force ordnance such as Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) as well as Mk 82-type conventional and precision-guided drop bombs. Full SATellite COMmunications (SATCOM) will be featured in the design. The external carrying capacity is set to become up to 900 kilograms with an internal option for an additional 450 kilograms.
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December 2019 - The Akinci UAV completed its first flight on December 6th, 2019, originating from Corfu Airport near Istanbul. The flight covered some sixteen minutes in the air.
May 2021 - Baykar Makina has flown, for the first time, a production-quality version of its Akinci MALE UAV.
August 2021 - The Akinci has formally entered service with the Turkish military through four early examples, two for Army service and two for the Air Force.
April 2022 - It was reported that the Akinci prototype had successfully engaged a mock target at sea for the first time.
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represents the most popular modern mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
2 x TEI PD170 turboprop engine developing 550 horsepower and driving five-bladed propellers in puller / tractor arrangement. Propulsion
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