Anka car­ries out first mis­sion­ary flight


Anka, an un­manned aerial ve­hi­cle de­vel­oped by the Turk­ish Aero­space In­dus­tries (TAI), car­ried out its de­but mis­sion­ary flight in the east­ern prov­ince of Elazig on Fe­bru­ary 5.

Tak­ing off from Elazig Air­port, Anka (Phoenix in English) as­cended to an al­ti­tude of 19,000 feet to carry out a four-hour ex­plo­ration and ob­ser­va­tion flight. De­signed and de­vel­oped by TAI, a Turk­ish Armed Forces Foun­da­tion com­pany, Anka is a medium-al­ti­tude, long-en­durance (MALE) drone.

It has ini­tially been de­ployed in Elazig due to the cur­rent strate­gic needs of the Turk­ish Gen­eral Staff, said Deputy De­fense Min­is­ter Suay Al­pay at the launch of the Anka’s first flight. “We are cur­rently do­ing a very crit­i­cal thing, strug­gling against ter­ror,” Al­pay said.

Work on the Anka dates back to De­cem­ber 2004, and in 2013 the Turk­ish Govern­ment signed a deal with TAI for an or­der of 10 Ankas and ground sta­tions.

In 2014, mil­i­tary and de­fence of­fi­cials moved ahead with a plan to add satcom ca­pa­bil­i­ties to the Anka, while also bring­ing to­gether a task force that would de­sign and de­velop an in­dige­nous en­gine for the drone.

The Anka’s de­but flight was con­trolled and ob­served from the ground con­trol cen­tre by Turk­ish Armed Forces Foun­da­tion Gen­eral Man­ager Orhan Ak­bas, TAI Chair­man Ne­jat Bil­gin, rocket de­vel­oper Roket­san Chair­man Emin Alp­man, and do­mes­tic de­fence firm Havel­san Chair­man Yük­sel Öztekin.

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