The second prototype of Turkey’s domestically made smart combat drone has successfully passed the 20,000-feet (6,096-meters) altitude test, its Istanbul-based manufacturer announced Wednesday. The Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) drone completed the test for nearly two-and 26 minutes at an altitude of 20,000 feet, manufacturer Baykar said on Twitter. The Bayraktar Akıncı is a high-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat air vehicle currently under development with Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar Makina.
Last December, the drone completed its first test flight and stayed in the air for 16 minutes. This May, the drone landed at the Corlu Airport Base Command in Tekirdag province for tests. The drone’s third prototype is being integrated at the manufacturer’s research center and the first delivery is planned for the end of this year. The first prototype made its second flight on Jan. 10. This particular drone can fly for 24 hours, has a 40,000-feet (around 12,192 meters) service ceiling, 20-meter (65-feet) wingspan, and capacity for carrying 1,350-kilograms (2,976 pounds) of useful load. Following the completion of other technical tests, the aircraft was moved to the Turkish Army’s Çorlu Airfield Command.
It will provide high flight safety with its fully automatic flight control and triple-redundant auto-pilot systems, said the company. The drone, equipped with locally made active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and air-to-air missiles Gokdogan and Bozdogan, can launch several locally made ammo, such as stand-off (SOM) cruise missiles. The drone can collect and save data from its sensors and cameras thanks to six artificial intelligence (AI) computers. With its AI systems, it can detect land targets invisible to the human eye and fly without GPS. Akinci will be the first commercially available UAV capable of launching an ALCM.