ISTANBUL

The second prototype of Turkey’s locally-made smart combat drone was successfully tested in northwestern Turkey, its Istanbul-based manufacturer said.

The drone dubbed Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) had a flight time of 62 minutes, manufacturer Baykar Makina said in a statement.

“Our drone successfully completed all the test phases,” Selcuk Bayraktar, the chief technology officer, was quoted as saying.

Last December, the drone completed its first test flight and stayed in the air for 16 minutes.

Earlier this year in May, the drone landed in the Corlu Airport Base Command in Tekirdag province for tests.

3rd prototype

The drone’s third prototype is being integrated at the manufacturer’s research center and the first delivery is planned for end of this year.

The third prototype will be tested in Corlu after the integration process is completed.

The first prototype made its second flight on Jan. 10. This particular drone can fly for 24 hours, has a 40,000-feet service ceiling, 20-meter (65-feet) wingspan, and capacity for carrying 1,350-kilogram (2,976-pound) of useful load.

It will provide high flight safety with its fully automatic flight control and triple-redundant auto-pilot systems.

The drone, equipped with locally-made AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar and air-to-air missiles Gokdogan and Bozdogan, can launch several locally-made ammo, such as SOM (stand-off) cruise missile.

The drone can collect and save data from its sensors and cameras due to six artificial intelligence (AI) computers.

It will detect land targets which are not visible to the human eye and fly without a GPS with its AI systems.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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