Lentatek of Turkey has a history of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVs) dating back to 2005 when it brought its "ARI" hand-launched micro-UAV to market. In 2007, the company revealed its "Karayel" (detailed elsewhere on this site) which has since been advanced into 2020 under the Karayel-SU variant and, today, the concern has now focused its efforts on an all-new arrival - the single-use "Kargi".
The new drone was developed with support from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and also involves Aselsan and Turkish defense powerhouse Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and its first-flight was recorded in 2018.
The Kargi is classified as a "loitering munition", a subgroup of attack drones that traverse the skies over battlefields seeking out Targets-of-Opportunity (ToO). As loitering munitions, its design in inherently disposable as the entire aircraft is essentially a controllable missile expended upon impact. The indigenously-designed, developed, and manufactured "all-in-one" weapon is marked suitable for use against "soft" targets found across the modern battlefield - both military and logistical / infrastructure types in value. The Kargi is particularly adept at neutralizing enemy air defenses by going directly after radar facilities and related support elements through low-profile precision strikes.
The aircraft has a blended wing-body arrangement with a warhead-tipped, missile-like shape emanating from the apex of the delta-wing planform. Twin vertical rudders are affixed to the wing trailing edges, straddling the conventional powerplant driving a two-bladed propeller unit in "pusher" arrangement. The propulsion scheme is the TUSAS Engine Industries (TAI) PG50 series engine. Additional fins are mounted near the midway point of each wing member for the needed control. As much of the drone is sourced locally, it makes for an ideal tactical-level battlefield solution for Turkish military needs. This includes the airframe itself as well as software, support, detonation, and seeker systems / subsystems.
The aircraft is launched directly from its transportation / storage container by way of expendable rocket booster.
The Kargi was used in its first exercises alongside Turkish military forces in June of 2022 (through EFES-2022) and is currently being used to succeed a stock of Israeli-made "Harpy" loitering munitions in same role.
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
Design incorporates rear-facing pusher-prop arrangement, a contrast to the more conventional puller-prop layout.
Mainplanes, or leading edges, features swept-back lines for enhanced high-speed performance and handling.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.
monoplane / mid-mounted / delta, tailed
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The delta planform features a conventional tailplane arrangement which enhances control.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Lentatek Kargi production variant)
1 x TUSAS Engine Industries (TEI) PG50 series engine driving two-bladed propeller unit at rear of fuselage in pusher configuration.
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Lentatek Kargi production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
Warhead is integrated into the nose of the aircraft, making for an all-in-one solution.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Kargi - Base Series Name.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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