Bayraktar AKINCI Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), developed by Baykar, was delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) at a ceremony held on 29 August and attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The graduation of the trainees to operate AKINCI was also celebrated at the ceremony held at Bayraktar AKINCI Flight Training and Test Centre.
AKINCI, whose development works started in 2017, made its first flight in 2019. More than 1,100 sorties were carried out as part of the aircraft’s test activities and operator trainings after the first flight until the date of the ceremony.
The personnel who will control the aircraft and carry out maintenance activities attended the training programme while development the AKINCI was ongoing. A total of 125 personnel including 29 UAV operators, 24 payload operators, 32 mechanical and engine technicians, 30 electronic/GCS-GDT (Ground Control Station-Ground Data Terminal) technicians and 10 weapons technicians were trained in this context.
AKINCI has a wingspan of 20 metres and a length of 12.3 metres. AKINCI can carry 1,350 kilograms of payload with a maximum take-off weight of 5,500 kilograms. These payloads include different types of air-to-ground and air-to-air munitions used by manned combat aircraft.
President Erdoğan’s Message on AKINCI’s Computer
Vice President Fuat Oktay, Mustafa Şentop, President of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Ministers of the Presidential Cabinet, General Yaşar Güler, Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces and Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries and the ambassadors of many countries also attended the ceremony.
Selçuk Bayraktar, Technology Leader of Baykar presented a special plaque to President Erdoğan at the ceremony. The plaque includes the message written by President Erdoğan and the message translated into the software code with the computer language, which was added to the embedded software in the flight control computer hours before AKINCI’s first flight on 6 December 2019.
Delivering a speech at the ceremony, President Erdoğan said: “The level we have achieved, especially in unmanned aerial vehicle technology, is the expression of the success of our capabilities in the defence industry, which is accepted by the whole world. Not long, just about 10 years ago, there were those, who did not even sell us these vehicles even though we wanted to pay for them and there were those who said ‘go now and come later’ when we wanted to have the vehicle’s maintenance done. The same circles are talking about the Turkish UAVs that changed the game in the field and the era opened by those UAVs.”
No information was given about the number of AKINCIs delivered during the ceremony. However, 4 AKINCIs were exhibited in the ceremony area. It was emphasised in the press release published by the company that operator training and mass production processes will continue for AKINCIs and other aircraft will be delivered to the users in the future.