Turkish Aerospace’s Anka UCAV sets flight record at over 30 hours

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TAI's Anka is seen in the air in this photo provided on Aug. 14, 2021. (IHA Photo)
TAI’s Anka is seen in the air in this photo provided on Aug. 14, 2021. (IHA Photo)

Turkey’s Anka medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has set a new flight record on Tuesday by staying in the air for 30 hours and 30 minutes, according to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the manufacturing company.

The TAI shared the related news via a Twitter statement. “Anka has achieved new successes! It broke the record for the longest flight by making a mission flight of 30 hours and 30 minutes in a sortie!”

The Anka UCAV, which broke the flight record, is estimated to be in the “next-generation Anka” configuration, according to open sources.

The next-generation Anka drones are based on the Anka-S UCAVs, which are already included in the Turkish security forces’ inventory.

In June last year, Turkey-based defense industry news platform SavunmaSanayiST.com reported that TAI has delivered four of the newly-configured Anka-S drones, two of which have been allocated to the Turkish Naval Forces, while the country’s air force will use the other two.

In an interview with the news website, TAI UAV Systems Vice-Chair Ömer Yıldız said the main difference between the new generation and the current Anka-S is in the wings and wing profile.

The Anka-S UAV has a useful payload capacity of 250 kilograms (551 pounds) and can stay in the air for up to 24 hours. With the new configuration, it can now carry up to 350 kilograms and stay in the air for up to 30 hours.

The Anka-S configuration, with Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) capabilities through satellite links, is used by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Gendarmerie units. The Anka-B configuration, which has Link Relay capabilities, is also used by the TSK and the Gendarmerie. The Anka-I, on the other hand, is operated by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and used in signal intelligence.

This particular drone was also exported to Tunisia, its first sales deal abroad, while reports suggested that Kazakhstan will soon buy three Anka UCAVs.