|Role||Unmanned aerial vehicle and Unmanned combat air vehicle|
|Manufacturer||Turkish Aerospace Industries|
|First flight||30 December 2010|
|Primary user||Turkish Air Force, |
General Directorate of Security (Turkish National Police)
|Number built||8 |
|Program cost||over $200M|
The TAI Anka is a family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries 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 made progress towards the integration of Synthetic aperture radar and combat systems. The drone is named after a phoenix-like mythological creature called Zümrüd-ü Anka (alternatively called Anka kuşu (Anka bird) 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 TIHA 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. 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 is planned that Anka +A will carry Cirit missiles of Turkey's Roketsan. The engines of Anka +A UCAV has not yet been determined. It may have more powerful turbo engines or it could have gas turbine engine. The weight of Anka +A UCAV will be more than 4 tons compared to Anka UAV's 1.5 tons. It is highly expected that the UCAV will be presented to public in the events of IDEF'13 on 7–10 May 2013.
Future variants of Anka will have larger payload capacity extending its current capabilities under the following features:
The TAI Anka will also eventually have an indigenous 155 hp Turbo prop engine developed by TUSAŞ Engine Industries (TEI) with cooperation with other Turkish companies in the future.
ANKA-TP (SIHA- Strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
A 5+ ton, turbo-prop powered, High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) version of the ANKA is also being planned.
TAI officials have announced that the Strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle version named ANKA-TP will feature a new mission computer, airframe and have the ability to carry between 1 and 1.5 Tons in armament. It will have a span of 23 meters, speed of between 200 and 250 knots and a cruising altitude of 40,000+ ft.
On 30 January 2015, the ANKA-B completed its maiden flight successfully. Anka Block B is a developed version of the Anka Block A and carries an Aselsan synthetic aperture radar/ground moving-target indicator payload in addition to the UAV’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 paves the way for weaponisation of the platform in the foreseeable future. Anka block B passed 30.000 feet, 26hr and 200 km radius during test flights The Turkish Air Force ordered 10 ANKA-B platforms in 2013 at a cost of $300 million.
ANKA-S is the serial production variant of ANKA. This variant is equipped with ViaSat's VR-18C Highpower SATCOM antenna and indigenous flight control computer. Like ANKA Block A and ANKA Block B, ANKA-S will be powered by Thielert Centurion 2.0S. However Turkish Engine İndustries (TEI) is developing a national engine for the ANKA that can operate with diesel and JP-8 jet fuel.
In 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 will be delivered in three batches (2+4+4). The first batch is planned to be delivered in March 2017. A total of 6 UAVs are planned to be delivered in 2017.
Currently, 4 ANKA-S UAVs have been produced and are undergoing tests. The first two of these UAVs are equipped with StarFIRE 380-HDL FLIR payload. However, these will be replaced with Aselsan CATS later on.
In September 2018, TAI delivered 2 more ANKA-S(SATCOM) MALE UAV to Turkish Air Force  rising the total number of ANKA-S to 8 in Turkish airforce inventory. TAI is planning to deliver a total of 10 ANKA-S UAVs to Turkish Air Force before 2019. 
- Turkish Air Force – 8 active(40 total)
- 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 Prime Minister (currently President) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (who supported President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood during the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état) and the Egyptian military regime led by General (currently President) Abdel Fattah el-Sisi; while other sources stated the deal was never finalized. Since 2013, Turkey and Egypt have no diplomatic relations in the ambassadorial level.
- 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 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.
- Crew: none
- Length: 26.2 ft (8 m)
- Wingspan: 56.7 ft (17.3 m)
- Height: 11.1 ft (3,4 m)
- Wing area: 146.3 sq ft (13.6 m²)
- Max. takeoff weight: 3527 lb (1600 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Thielert Centurion 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder engine, 155 hp (114 kW)
- Maximum speed: 135 mph (117 knots, 217 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 126 mph (110 knots, 204 km/h)
- Range: 3024 mi (4896 km)
- Combat radius: 124 mi (200 km)
- Endurance: 24 hours with 200 kg useful payload
- Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,144 m)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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- Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)
- TAI Anka Documentary
- TAI Anka Presentation
- Flight Global: Turkey reveals MALE UAV details
- East West Studies: Turkish Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TIHA) Program
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