The Armed Unmanned Surface Vehicle (AUSV), the first member of the ULAQ family of unmanned surface vehicles, was successful in the first firing tests conducted within the scope of the DENİZKURDU-2021 Exercise, which started on 25, May and was carried out with the participation of the Turkish Naval Forces components. ARES Shipyard and Meteksan Defence, jointly developing the ULAQ product family, announced the details of the test firing in a press release. The press release emphasized that ULAQ AUSV is the first unmanned surface vehicle in the world with an integrated laser-guided missile system.
A telemetry shot was fired with the CİRİT guided missile, which did not carry a warhead, and ULAQ AUSV successfully hit the target on 26 May, within the scope of the testing. Then, ULAQ AUSV managed to hit the simulated target with full accuracy deploying the CİRİT missile with a live warhead attached on 27 May.
ULAQ AUSV, which set sail to launch the guided missile on 27 May, was mobilised with the start of the test and was deployed to the launch area by being managed from the Mobile Coast Control Station (MCCS) according to the information in the press release. The target, detected by the cameras on the AUSV, was illuminated with the laser pointer on the AUSV. Then, the CİRİT guided missile carrying a live warhead was launched from the AUSV and the target was hit with full accuracy.
A ceremony was also held for the launch test. On the scene prepared as part of the ceremony, the audience followed the launch live. The ceremony was attended by Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries, and senior officials from the Ministry of National Defence, the Presidency of Defence Industries, the Turkish Naval Forces, and the Coast Guard Command. ARES Shipyard CEO Utku Alanç and Meteksan Defence President Selçuk Alparslan also gave speeches at the ceremony.
Alanç emphasized that they aimed to develop the world’s best unmanned surface vehicles and to become pioneers on a global scale as Turkish engineers in this field. He stated that they aimed to make Turkey a trend-setting, leading, and ally country in the field of unmanned surface vehicles, just like in unmanned aerial vehicles.
Alparslan stated that Turkey led the military doctrines that are being rewritten in the world. He also said that they were very proud of the fact that the first launch test of ULAQ AUSV, on which they started to work 1 year ago, was carried out in DENİZKURDU-2021, the most comprehensive naval exercise in the history of the Republic of Turkey.
After the successful test launch, Prof. Dr. Demir held the floor and stated: “Today, it is obvious that we must have a strong naval force to protect our rights in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean for the defence of the Blue Homeland. At the Presidency of the Defence Industries, we will continue to cooperate closely with our Ministry of National Defence, the General Staff, the Naval Forces Command, our industry, and other relevant institutions in order to provide the platforms, equipped with the latest technologies, needed by our Naval Forces Command, which is the indomitable guardian of the Blue Homeland. We have reached 70 percent indigenousness rate in our projects, and we are planning to further increase this. Just as in unmanned aerial vehicles industry, the days are very close, when we start to see land, surface, and underwater vehicles similar to those products that are now in the field acting as game changers. We know that combat environments in which these systems operate in an integrated state are waiting for us, and we continue our efforts accordingly. We support the studies that will be put forward in this direction, and we will continue to support them.”
On the other hand, Alanç, who was a guest on the live broadcast of TRT Haber on 7 May, said that they continue to invest in infrastructure as well as in ULAQ AUSV’s tests and that they have the capacity to mass produce 50 unmanned vehicles per year.