Baykar Defense, which has made a name for itself in the international market thanks to the success of its Bayraktar TB2 systems in conflict zones such as Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, and most recently Ukraine, announced on 2 March that the first flight of the newly developed Bayraktar Akıncı B drone was successfully completed.
During the test activity conducted at Bayraktar Akıncı Flight Training and Test Center in Çorlu, Bayraktar Akıncı B remained in the air for 1 hour and 16 minutes. The aerodynamic parameter identification tests carried out during Bayraktar Akıncı B’s first flight were likewise successful. On his social media account, Baykar Defense Technology Leader Selçuk Bayraktar, who oversaw the first flight test of the Akıncı B, claimed that the Bayraktar Akıncı’s B model, which has two 750 horsepower engines for a total of 1500 horsepower, is the most powerful combatant in its class and has the highest combat capability.
The B model of the Bayraktar AKINCI TİHA (Attack Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), developed by Baykar as part of the AKINCI project led by the Presidency of Defense Industries, is two times more powerful than the AKINCI-A, which has two 450 horsepower engines and entered the Turkish Armed Forces inventory at the end of last year. AKINCI TİHA measures 4.1 meters in height and 12.2 meters in length, with a wingspan of 20 meters.
Akıncı, which can fly for 24 hours and rise to a height of 40 thousand feet, has a take-off weight of 6 tons and a cruise speed of 195 knots. The drone, which has a 1.5 ton payload carrying capacity, advanced artificial intelligence, and three redundant autopilot satellite communication systems, can also be equipped with ammunition, missiles and bombs such as the MAM-L, MAM-C, Cirit, L-UMTAS, Bozok, MK-81, MK-82, MK-83, Wing Assisted Guidance Kit (KGK)-MK-82, Gökdoğan, Bozdoğan and SOM-A.
On his Twitter account, Baykar General Manager Haluk Bayraktar said, “Bayraktar AKINCI TİHA’s export deal with two countries has been concluded. After today’s successful first flight of the AKINCI B with 2×750=1500 HP, the AKINCI C with 2×950=1900 HP will soon take to the sky,”
Baykar noted that Bayraktar AKINCI TİHA and ground systems will be delivered periodically beginning in 2023, as per the contracts, while the nations to which Akıncn will be exported have yet to be revealed. Although the nations to which Baykar Akıncı is exported are not specified, it appears that the first customer for Akıncı may be Ukraine. One reason for this could be that Ukraine was satisfied with the TB2s it purchased from Turkey and placed additional orders. Another reason is that Akıncı is currently using engines manufactured by Ivchenko-Progress, a Ukrainian engine manufacturer, and has reached an agreement with the Ukrainian company regarding the engines that will power the National Unmanned Aircraft System MIUS, which is still in development.
Furthermore, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Ankara, Vasyl Bodnar, tweeted saying, “There is only a model for now, but I hope it will become reality soon.” Sharing the AKINCI TİHA model, dressed in Ukrainian Air Force colors. This message strengthens the claim that Ukraine is one of the countries to which Akıncı will be exported.
Another country to which Akıncı is expected to be supplied is Azerbaijan. “We know that the relevant institutions of Azerbaijan are interested in the Akıncı drone,” Selcuk Bayraktar, who recently visited Azerbaijan, told Azerbaijani broadcast AzTV. “As Baykar, we want to start a project to develop this technology here.” In addition, Selçuk Bayraktar, who had previously met with Azerbaijani President Aliyev, presented Aliyev with an Akıncı model. So it would come as no surprise that Azerbaijan will be supplied with the Akıncı drone, which Turkey considers to be a sister country.