Aerial Warfare

Burkina Faso Receives Baykar Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles

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Burkina Faso Receives Baykar Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles

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Burkina Faso Receives Baykar Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles
Burkina Faso Receives Baykar Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles

Burkina Faso has expanded its military capabilities with the acquisition of at least two Baykar Bayraktar Akinci unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), marking a pivotal moment in the nation’s defense arsenal. The official delivery of these advanced drones, alongside a dozen combat UAVs, including Bayraktar TB2s, underscores Burkina Faso’s commitment to enhancing its security infrastructure. The handover ceremony, documented through photographs and video footage, unveiled a previously undisclosed airbase, serving as a symbolic representation of Burkina Faso’s readiness to defend its sovereignty and address security challenges. Among the showcased drones were two Baykar Bayraktar Akincis, one bearing the serial number S3, indicating its lineage from the initial production models delivered to Turkish forces in 2021.

The revelation came to light on April 8th, as Transitional President Captain Ibrahim Traoré’s office confirmed the handover of the cutting-edge Akinci UCAVs to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Expressing gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Traoré emphasized the significance of expanding the UAV fleet, citing its potential for timely interventions and sustained surveillance. Minister of Defence Brigadier General Kassoum Coulibaly elaborated on the strategic importance of the acquisition, highlighting its alignment with the armed forces’ comprehensive equipment plan. While this delivery marks a significant milestone, Coulibaly noted that it represents only a portion of the final phase of the strategic plan, indicating ongoing efforts to further bolster Burkina Faso’s military capabilities.

Burkina Faso's Baykar Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
Burkina Faso’s Baykar Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle. (Photo by Présidence du Faso)

Baykar Bayraktar Akinci is a high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) being manufactured by the Turkish defence company Baykar. The aircraft has a 5.5+ ton maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), of which over 1,350 kg (2,980 lb) is payload. Akinci is equipped with two turboprop engines of either 450 hp (460 PS; 340 kW) or 750 hp (760 PS; 560 kW), as well as electronic support and ECM systems, dual satellite communication systems, air-to-air radar, collision avoidance radar, and advanced synthetic-aperture radar. The Akinci drone is equipped with an indigenously manufactured active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar called MURAD, a SAR/GMTI radar, a surveillance system, electronic warfare, and signal intelligence suite (SIGINT), and SATCOM allowing Akincis to become UCAV as well as ISTAR+C3 assets for the Turkish military.

Bayraktar Akinci equipped with multifunction AESA Radar system for air-to-air, synthetic, meteorology estimation. With its triple redundant electronics hardware and software systems Bayraktar AKINCI is capable of carrying the following payloads:Mini Smart Munition MAM-L, Mini Smart Munition MAM – C, Cirit Missile, L-UMTAS Missile, Mini Smart Munition Bozok, MK-81, MK-82, MK-83 Guided Bombs (JDAM), Wing Assisted Guided Bomb MK-82, Air-to-Air Missile Gokdogan and Bozdogan and Stand-Off Missile SOM-A. On 22 April 2021, Bayraktar Ak?nc? UCAV has successfully conducted its first firing tests. During the test, ‘Ak?nc?’ was fitted with three different variants of the indigenously developed smart munitions, MAM-L, MAM-C and MAM-T.

Burkina Faso's Baykar Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle. (Photo by Présidence du Faso)
Burkina Faso’s Baykar Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle. (Photo by Présidence du Faso)

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