Will the future Turkish on-board stealth drone humiliate the European defense aeronautics industry?

Following the military intervention in northern Syria, the military support of one of the factions in the Libyan conflict, and above all the acquisition of an S-400 anti-aircraft battery from Russia, the Turkish defense industry, booming until 2019, experienced a severe setback following the sanctions imposed by the Europeans and especially the Americans concerning the export of defense technologies. But if certain programs, such as the Altay heavy tank or the TFX combat aircraft were very handicapped by these measures, it is an area in which the Turkish defense industry continued to develop, and to achieve major commercial successes, that of drones. After the demonstration of the effectiveness of the Baykar TB2 Bayraktar light MALE drone in Azerbaijan, Libya and Syria, customers were already rushing to acquire this simple, efficient and very economical system. The successes recorded by the TB2s delivered to Ukraine during the first months of the conflict between it and Russia ended up convincing buyers, and the small Turkish drone is now commanded by no less than fifteen armed forces, and many others are said to be negotiating to do the same.

For Selçuk Bayraktar, president of the young company, also son-in-law of President RT Erdogan and above all a graduate of MIT, there was no question of being satisfied with this success. As the TB2 multiplied operational and commercial successes, the company developed a new, heavier, twin-engine combat drone, the Akinci, a device 6 times heavier than the TB2 with an empty weight of 4500 kg, a carrying capacity of 1.500 kg and an autonomy of 24 hours, capable of playing in the same court as the famous American MQ-9 Reaper which remains, to this day, the most widely used MALE drone in the Western armed forces. The young company was also called to the rescue by the Turkish power to find an alternative to the eviction of Ankara from the F-35 program, and in particular to replace the F-35Bs which were to arm the brand new Anadolu aircraft carrier and her upcoming sister ship. Obviously, Turkish engineers wasted little time in meeting the needs of their ruler's father-in-law. Indeed, on the occasion of the Teknofest Black Sea, Baykar presented the Kizilelma stealth combat drone (in main illustration), a turboprop autonomous device intended to operate from Turkish Navy aircraft carriers.

Akinci Bayraktar Analysis Defense | Amphibious Assault | Conflict in Libya
It took just 2 years for Baykar to get its Akinci drone into service after its first flight in 2019

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