Turkey demonstrates its unmanned combat boats

Turkey demonstrates its unmanned combat boats
Turkey demonstrates its unmanned combat boats
9 August, 11:44TechnologyPhoto: Соцсети
The Turkish Defense Industry Authority (SSB) has revealed which unmanned surface ships it has been working on lately and what results it has achieved.

Alexander Sychev

Judging by the widespread video, the Turkish defense industry has created four unmanned surface systems: Ulaq (“Messenger”), Salvo (“Volley”), Sancar (“Striking”) and ships of the Swarm (“Swarm”) project - Albatros and Mir (“Commander").

"Messenger" was created by two Turkish companies Ares Shipyard and Meteksan Defense. Work began in 2018. The length of the boat reaches 11 meters. It is capable of speeds of 35 knots and a range of 400 kilometers.

A powerful computer processes data that comes from day and night vision devices, radar and various sensors, as well as encrypted information from control points. Control points can be located both on land and on other warships.

Despite its size, the boat has decent weapons. On board are launchers with four 70-millimeter laser-guided Cirit missiles. This missile hits a distance of eight kilometers. In addition to them, there are two long-range UMTAS missiles. They can be infrared or laser-guided (these are marked with the letter L) and are designed to destroy armored targets. Range up to eight kilometers.

In addition to missiles, the ship is equipped with a remote-controlled universal use weapon station (RWS), or, more simply, a machine gun. The module was produced by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace and the French Thales Group. Machine gun caliber 12.7 mm. There are also two light torpedoes.

The ship is intended for reconnaissance, surveillance, reconnaissance, but can also protect strategic infrastructure and strike at the enemy.

The Salvo unmanned ship is produced by the Dearsan Shipyard. In the spring of this year, in the Sea of Marmara, the drone conducted its first firing and hit the sea target with a laser-guided Cirit missile. The testers also used the RWS machine gun system.

The length of the Zalp drone is 14.8 meters, width - 3.8, draft - 75 centimeters. Depending on the installed diesel engine, the ship can reach a maximum speed of 45 - 60 knots.

"Striking" was created by the Yonca Onuk shipyard and the Havelsan Partnership. This is the latest development - the boat was launched in Istanbul last June. The length of the drone reaches 12.7 meters, and the displacement is nine tons. It can be at sea for 40 hours, and during this time it will cover about 600 kilometers. The diesel engine allows a maximum speed of 40 knots. According to the assurances of the designers, the drone can withstand a storm of four points.

This boat is also equipped with an RWS weapon station with a 12.7 mm machine gun, four UMTAS or L-UMTAS missiles.

The drone is controlled by a navigation radar, a set of sensors and video cameras, as well as a collision avoidance system placed on a MILMAST telescopic mast.

Leading Turkish defense company Aselsan held two demonstrations of its Swarm project. The first was carried out with four Albatros-S boats last year, and the second with MIR in June this year.

Drones in a "swarm" can perform various functions and operate despite the loss of individual platforms. The task is distributed among the participants automatically.

Albatros-S is a boat seven meters long. It reaches speeds of over 40 knots and has a range of over 300 kilometers. The drone can be at sea without maintenance for up to 10 hours. The payload in the form of weapons systems is 250 kilograms.

The Mir boat is being developed as part of another project. This drone will be able to carry a larger payload. In fact, this is a “swarm” control ship. It has a long mast on which a large number of different sensors are placed. It also has variable depth sonar.

Due to the design of the hull and the power plant, Mir is able to reach speeds of over 36 knots and operate in sea waves of four points.

The fact that the Turkish defense industry decided to showcase its maritime drones and even reveal some of the performance characteristics is explained by the favorable commercial situation that has arisen in connection with the special operation in Ukraine.

It is known that the Ukrainian armed forces are actively using Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aircraft, and indeed both conflicting parties use a large number of different, mainly small reconnaissance and strike drones. This is another confirmation that modern military operations without drones, both aviation and, apparently, land and sea, are no longer possible to successfully conduct. Turkish achievements have been appreciated in Saudi Arabia and are negotiating the establishment of a joint production of unmanned aerial platforms in the kingdom.

Many countries are engaged in maritime drones, including the United States, which have begun to conduct active marketing work in foreign markets. The Turks have decided to be the first to announce their product, hoping to grab a piece of the budding global drone trade before weapons leaders get involved.

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