|Role||Unmanned aerial vehicle|
Unmanned combat aerial vehicle
|Manufacturer||Turkish Aerospace Industries|
|First flight||30 December 2010|
|Primary users||Turkish Air Force|
General Directorate of Security
|Program cost||over $200M|
The TAI Anka is a family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces. Basic Anka-A is classified as a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV. Envisioned in the early 2000s for tactical surveillance and reconnaissance missions, the Anka has now evolved into a modular platform with synthetic aperture radar, precise weapons and satellite communication. The drone is named after a phoenix-like mythological creature called Zümrüd-ü Anka (Anka kuşu in Turkish.)
The TUAV system consists of three air vehicles (A/V), Ground Control Station (GCS), Ground Data Terminal (GDT), Automatic Take-off, and Landing System (ATOLS), Transportable Image Exploitation System (TIES), Remote Video Terminal (RVT) and various Ground Support Equipment (GSE).
The TUAV system, which is designed for night and day missions including adverse weather conditions, performs real-time image intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, moving/stationery target detection, recognition, identification, and tracking missions.
While the TUAV system has an open architecture to support other potential payloads and missions, within the context of the existing project the air vehicle is configured to carry the following payloads on board:
- Electro-optic Color Day Camera (EO Day TV)
- Electro-optic/Forward Looking Infrared/Laser rangefinder/Laser Designator and Spotter Camera (EO/FLIR/LRF/LDS)
- Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI)
- Inverse SAR (ISAR)
The whole composite airframe is composed of a monoblock fuselage, detachable wing and V-Tail, retractable landing gear, redundant control surfaces, avionics and payload bays and service doors. The sandwich skin structure is reinforced by composite or metallic frames, ribs, and supports. Propelled by a pusher type heavy fuel engine, the aircraft is furnished with fuselage fuel tanks and fuel system, ice protection system, environmental control system, lighting system, redundant electrical system with battery backup, and harness system.
The platform is also equipped with a digital flight control system, electro-mechanical actuators, and flight control sensor systems such as GPS, pitot-static, air data computer, navigation sensor, transducers, temperature, pressure, displacement sensors, etc. Various tasks are distributed along flight management computers and auxiliary control boxes. Identification and communication units and interface computers are employed in order to establish real time wide band communication and provide test and diagnostics functions. An air traffic radio is also integrated in the communication system for the integration of the aircraft into the civilian airspace. All flight critical equipment are dual or triple redundant and emergency modes of operational scenarios are taken into consideration for fail safe design.
All airborne and ground-based flight control software is developed by TAI while payload hardware and software items are aimed to be developed by national sub-contractors, such as Aselsan and Milsoft.
UAV operations are supported by highly sophisticated ground control system with complete redundancy, developed by a domestic defence company Savronik. Whole mission segments of the air vehicle can be managed, monitored and controlled by a GCS. A pre-programmed mission plan can be loaded before the flight begins or can be altered during the flight. All the imagery stream of the payloads can be displayed and recorded in real time and all the payloads can be controlled from the GCS. ATOLS allows the air vehicle to perform its operation without operator intervention, including the most critical phases which are landing and take-off.
In TIES, valuable intelligence information can be obtained by the analysis of bulky imagery data. TIES operators can initiate intelligence missions prior to or during flight. Refined information flows to the upper command layer in order to assist the headquarters to monitor a network of TUAV systems and benefit from the gathered intelligence information. Another interface of the TUAV system is the RVT, with which other friendly units who are close to the target area can utilize the real time imagery that TUAV air vehicle broadcasts.
The contract regarding the development of an indigenous Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system for the reconnaissance requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces became effective on 24 December 2004. Within the framework of the program, a total of three prototypes and ground systems will be designed, developed, manufactured, and tested by mid-2011 as part of the prototype development phase. Subsequently, in 2012, the serial production phase of Anka-A would be launched and additional 10 systems (meaning 30 air vehicles) built for the Turkish Air Force.
- On 30 December 2010, the first TAI Anka unmanned aerial vehicle completed its debut flight, with 14 minutes of cruising, at 15:45 local time. It crashed after 15 minutes. Defence Minister Vecdi Gönül confirmed the flight.
- On 5 May 2011, TAI released the test flight video of Anka. Anka-A flew a test and calibration mission of 2h 30m.
- Turkish Aerospace Industries announced on 25 October 2011 that the ANKA had successfully completed its subsequent flight and landing tests and that it will now be in the Turkish Air Force inventory in 2012 that is much earlier than expected. Footage released by TAI also shows the ANKA landing successfully putting all speculation abouts its crash landings to rest.
- On 22 November 2011, the Anka held the follow-up test flight for 6 hours at 20,000 ft. The vehicle demonstrated its automatic take-off and landing system for the first time.
- On 5 January 2012, Defence Industry Executive Committee authorized Undersecretariat for Defence Industries to commence talks with Turkish Aerospace Industries for the serial production of 10 Anka vehicles.
- On 27 September 2012, an Anka prototype crashed during a flight test due to a technical problem.
- On 20 January 2013, Anka completed acceptance tests by the Turkish Air Force. The final acceptance tests were conducted near Ankara, and involved an 18‑hour‑long, 200 km ring flight. The tests also included a night landing in adverse weather conditions. The Anka has flown more than 140 hours and reached and altitude of 26,000 feet.
- On 13 May 2013, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra handed over the first batch of Anka UAV parts to Turkish Aerospace Industries during IDEF 2013 at Istanbul, Turkey.
- On 6 December 2013, another Anka UAV crashed in southeastern Turkey during a day flight.
On 19 July 2012, the Turkish Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) announced that Turkish Aerospace Industries had commenced research and development for the design and development of a "hunter killer" High-Altitude Long-Endurance version of the Anka UAV, named the Anka +A. It was planned that Anka +A will carry Cirit missiles of Turkey's Roketsan. The engines of the Anka +A UCAV had not yet been determined. It might have more powerful turbo engines or it could have gas turbine engine. The weight of Anka +A UCAV would be more than 4 tons compared to Anka Block A's 1.5 tons. It was highly expected that the UCAV would be presented to public in the events of IDEF'13 on 7–10 May 2013.
Turkey's Directorate for Defence Industries has been stressing advanced variants of the Anka with larger payload capacity, extending Block A capabilities to the features like:
According to the authority, the Anka will eventually have an indigenous 155 hp turbo-prop engine developed by TUSAŞ Engine Industries (TEI), with the cooperation of local companies in the future.
On 30 January 2015, the ANKA-B completed its maiden flight successfully. Anka Block B is an improved version of the Anka Block A. The UAV carries an Aselsan synthetic aperture radar/ground moving-target indicator payload in addition to the platform's electro-optical/infrared sensor. During the maiden flight, Anka-B successfully performed "basic shakedown" and auto-landing. The Anka Block B also has a greater payload capacity than that of the Anka-A which includes SAR/ISAR/GMTI radar (in addition to the cameras of Anka A) that obtains and remits high resolution intelligence data back to base. The Anka Block B paved the way for weaponisation of the platform in the foreseeable future. Anka Block B passed 30.000 feet, 26 hours and 200 km radius during the test flights. Turkish Air Force ordered 10 Anka Block B in 2013 at a cost of $300 million.
ANKA-S is a serial production configuration of ANKA. It is equipped with ViaSat's VR-18C Highpower SATCOM antenna and a national flight control computer. Like Block A and Block B, Anka-S will be powered by Thielert Centurion 2.0S. On the other hand, Turkish Engine Industries (TEI) has been developing a national engine, capable of running with diesel and JP-8 jet fuel.
On 25 October 2013, Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industry (SSM) ordered 10 Anka-S UAVs and 12 ground control stations for $290 million ($220.6 million + TRY 137 million). The UAVs would be delivered in three batches (2+4+4). The first batch was planned to be delivered in March 2017. A total of 6 aircraft were planned to be delivered in 2017.
In 2016, media reported that the TAI was manufacturing 4 Anka-S UAVs for the armed forces. The first two of these aircraft were to be equipped with StarFIRE 380-HDL FLIR payload. However, these would be replaced with Aselsan CATS later on.
On 17 August 2018, Directorate for Defence Industries announced that the Anka-S completed its first live fire tests. The platform was tested with MAM-L ammunition developed by the Roketsan. In September, Ismail Demir, director of the Turkey's defence industry authority, shared a picture of the first Anka-S equipped with Aselsan CATS optical system. TAI delivered 2 more ANKA-S to Turkish Air Force in September 2018, increasing the Anka-S inventory of Turkish Air Force to 8 aircraft. TAI is planning to deliver a total of 10 Anka-S to Turkish Air Force before 2019.
In August 2018, the Anka carried out Turkey’s "first satellite-controlled airstrike". In December, an Anka completed its first flight with an engine produced domestically. In 2019, the Anka broke its endurance records, flying longer than 24 hours.
Although Ankas have an operational range of about 100 miles, the Anka-S (satellite-enabled) is capable of flying beyond "line of sight".
The Anka-2 is a twin engined version of the Anka-S which has a significantly higher payload capacity.
- Turkish Air Force – 10 active (planned total 40)
- Turkish National Intelligence Organization – Anka-I variant
- Turkish Naval Forces - 3 delivered
- On 23 November 2012, Egypt signed a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries to purchase 10 Anka UAV's. The deal was later cancelled. Some sources claimed that the cancellation was due to the disagreements between AKP government of then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Egyptian military regime led by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, while other sources stated the deal was never finalized. Recep Tayyip Erdogan was supporting the first democratically elected President in Egypt's, who had won the Egyptian presidential election in 2012, before getting ousted in a military coup on July 3rd 2013.
- In April 2013, Saudi Arabian officials expressed interest in the Anka UAV. In November 2017, a Turkish official confirmed talks had been ongoing since 2013 for the purchase of 6 systems, but no official contract had been signed yet. The official stated specific requirements regarding reconnaissance capability and a possible transfer of technology to Saudi Arabia. A different source noted budgetary challenges to be overcome due to Saudi Arabia demanding a lower price due to lower oil prices constraining Saudi income.
- In late November 2018, during IDEAS 2018, it was confirmed that Pakistan Navy is interested in Anka-S and has begun negotiations with Turkish Aerospace Industries for this UAV.
- In November 2017 it was revealed that there were talks with the United Arab Emirates, which ultimately amounted to no tangible results, in large part due to the United Arab Emirates also locally developing competing unmanned systems.
Data from TAI.com : Anka
- Capacity: 200 kg (441 lb) payload
- Length: 8 m (26 ft 3 in)
- Wingspan: 17.3 m (56 ft 9 in)
- Height: 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in)
- Max takeoff weight: 1,600 kg (3,527 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Tusaş Engine Industries PD170 4-cylinder liquid-cooled in-line turbo-charged diesel engine, 127 kW (170 hp) . Formerly Thielert Centurion 2.0
- Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed propeller
- Maximum speed: 217 km/h (135 mph, 117 kn)
- Cruise speed: 204 km/h (127 mph, 110 kn)
- Range: 1,448 km (900 mi, 782 nmi)
- Combat range: 200 km (120 mi, 110 nmi) datalink range
- Endurance: 24 hours with 200 kg (441 lb) payload
- Service ceiling: 9,144 m (30,000 ft) 
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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