Turkey’s Havelsan exhibited its latest iteration of indigenously developed fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) swarm-capable autonomous Baha unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 expo, held from 21 to 25 September, in South Africa. Baha (Bulut Alti Insansiz Hava Araci) is a prototype of a Turkish sub-cloud autonomous vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicle devrloped by HAVELSAN for the needs of the border security forces. It was reported that the UAV successfully completed the flight test in an altitude of 7,500 ft (2,300 m) at a distance of 10 km (6.2 mi) far from the Ground Support Center.
The Baha is a small unmanned aerial vehicle developed to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions with the ability to perform as an independent platform and in alliance with other manned and unmanned air and ground assets. The latest design of Baha includes a boom-mounted T-tail instead of earlier exercised boom-mounted inverted V-tail. The Baha is operated from a land vehicle. A further development for the central control of a swarm of 20-30 UAVs, each operated from one land vehicle, is in progress. It has a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 30 kg (66 lb) and its payload capacity is 6 kg (13 lb).
The Baha unmanned aerial vehicle has also undergone modifications to include anti-jamming systems and integration with combat management system and control station for land and naval operations. The unmanned aerial vehicle has a wingspan of 3.7 m, fitted with four electrically powered rotors (two on each wing), which enables VTOL operations. The forward flight, which is initially propelled by a gasoline engine, can now be propelled by an electric engine. The endurance achieved by the electric engine is two hours against the six-hour endurance achieved through the gasoline engine.
Havelsan is one of the leading technology companies of Türkiye, established in 1982 as a corporation affiliated with the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation. Thanks to its decades-long experience and highly qualified human resources, the company provides high technology-based software-intensive solutions and products for armed forces, public and private sectors. Havelsan, not only designs innovative technologies but also develops holistic defense systems for a trusted future. Havelsan as a reliable, sustainable, and strategic solution partner also leads the way for digital transformation both at home and abroad.