IDEF 2011: Bayraktar tactical UAV nears production
Among the various indigenously-designed UAVs on display at the IDEF exhibition in Istanbul from 10 to 13 May was the Bayraktar tactical UAV, which company officials are confident is nearing serial production.
The exhibition marked the public unveiling of the tactical UAV, which was selected by the Turkish Land Forces Command in 2010 following successful flight demonstrations the previous year.
Baykar Machinery general manager Haluk Bayraktar told Shephard that the prototype phase was now completed and contract details were being finalised for an 18 aircraft order.
He said once the contract was signed, which was expected in coming months, first deliveries of the production aircraft would occur in 20 months.
The Bayraktar tactical UAV has been developed under a joint venture between Baykar and the Kale Group. The completely self-funded project gathered engineers from a variety of disciplines in order to develop the UAV’s critical technologies.
Bayraktar said that the aircraft is capable of autonomous taxi, take-off and landing through onboard sensor fusion algorithms. In the event communications with the UAV are broken, the aircraft will automatically return home and land – although Bayraktar noted that the system employed a triple digital downlink.
While the company used a self-developed EO-IR payload for the flight tests and demonstration, the system that would be integrated with the in-service UAV was still being determined.
The Bayraktar, which is 5.5m long and has a wingspan of 9m, has a stated endurance of 10 hours, an operational altitude of 18,000 feet, a maximum take-off weight of 450kg, and a cruise speed of 80 knots.
Also on display at the IDEF exhibition were the Bayraktar mini-UAV and Malazgirt mini unmanned helicopter system as well as associated portable ground control stations.
The Malazgirt, which features a gas engine, has a rotor span of 1.8m, an endurance of 80 minutes and an operational range of 15km. It has been designed to carry an IR/day camera payload at 2000 feet and also employs autonomous take-off and landing, and waypoint navigation as well as autopilot assisted joystick control mode.
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