Turkey’s New Armed USV ‘SALVO’ Passes First Live-Fire Trials

Turkey’s arsenal of unmanned surface vehicles is growing. The first live-fire test of the new armed USV (known as SİDA in Turkey) dubbed “SALVO” was carried out in the Sea of Marmara on Wednesday, May 25, according to Turkish shipyard Dearsan. According to a statement released by Dearsan Shipyard, ambassadors from various countries, military attachés, many local and foreign diplomats, and members of the press attended the firing ceremony held in Bursa, Turkey, organized in collaboration with the firms ASELSAN, ROKETSAN, and YALTES.

Attendees of the test-firing ceremony held in Bursa, Turkey / Dearsan Shipyard

The launch of the CİRİT missile from the YALMAN turret system, a Roketsan product, installed at the stern of the “SALVO” Armed USV kicked off the firing tests. Following the successful strike on the moving target by a Cirit 70mm Laser Guided Missile, the ceremony continued with the test-firing of the Aselsan 12.7mm stabilized heavy machine gun system, which also resulted in another successful strike on the moving target. The test-fire was shown live on a large screen set up on the beach.

The SALVO Armed USV successfully hits a moving target with a Roketsan production Cirit missile /
Dearsan Shipyard

After successful firing tests, SALVO became Turkey’s second operational armed USV. The ULAQ, developed in collaboration with ARES Shipyard and Meteksan Defense, is Turkey’s first USV. The ULAQ was originally launched in 2020 and successfully completed its firing tests in the first quarter of 2021.

Dearsan Shipyard originally disclosed the development of a new type of armed unmanned surface vehicle (USV) in December of last year. The shipyard, which completed the ship’s design phase in a short amount of time, launched the first prototype in early 2022. Dearsan, which first unveiled a model of the system at DIMDEX 2022 as Atak USV 15, later changed the name of the system to “SALVO.”

The SALVO Armed USV developed by Dearsan Shipyard / Dearsan Shipyard

SALVO, which will serve in missions such as reconnaissance, surveillance, and intelligence, surface warfare, asymmetric warfare, armed escort, and strategic facility security, has a length of 14.79m, a width of 3.83m, a draft of 0.75m. Depending on the choice of diesel engines, it has a top speed of 45-60kts (83km/h – 111 km/h). SALVO may carry Surface-to-Surface and Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Systems, as well as a 12.7mm Stabilized Machine Gun System. The Turkish Navy plans to arm these vehicles with ROKETSAN anti-tank missiles such as the L-UMTAS, OMTAS, and the Cirit missile, which has an 8-kilometer range and is laser-guided.

Roketsan production YALMAN turret system and CİRİT missile placed at the stern of “SALVO” Armed USV / Dearsan Shipyard

The SALVO Armed USV, which will be outfitted with electronic warfare, jamming, and various communication and intelligence systems as well as weapon systems, can also be deployed on warships. Furthermore, this system can be operated remotely from mobile vehicles, headquarters, combat centers, and floating platforms. Aside from these features, work on variants of the vehicle that can perform special operations such as reconnaissance, surveillance, and intelligence gathering is also ongoing.