The Bayraktar AKINCI drone, which was created by Baykar as part of the AKINCI Project run under the direction of the Turkish Defense Industry Presidency, is continuing to be tested with new domestically made munitions. During a recent trial the Bayraktar Akıncı B tested the LGK-82 (Laser Guidance Kit) produced by ASELSAN. For the test flight, AKINCI B departed from the Çorlu Airport Command and maintained an average altitude of 30 thousand feet. According to the company’s statement, the LGK-82 launched from AKINCI successfully hit the target identified by a Bayraktar TB2 laser. Later, Baykar posted images from the test to their social media page.
LGK, which converts general purpose bombs into smart ammunition that can hit its target from kilometers away thanks to laser marking, was dropped from an unmanned aerial vehicle for the first time in this test. KGK-82, HGK-82, and MAM series guided munitions have thus far been integrated into the Akıncı drone. AKINCI B was also carrying the GÖZDE Guidance Kit, developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE and whose integration studies are still ongoing, under its wing during the LGK-82 test flight.
Bayraktar Akıncı B is a more powerful version of the Akıncı A, which is currently in the Turkish Armed Forces’ inventory. The engine power is the primary distinction between Akıncı B and Akıncı A. Bayraktar AKINCI A has 900 HP total engine power, with two 450 HP engines, while Akıncı B has 1500 HP total engine power, with 2 750 HP engines. This enables the B version of the Akıncı to move faster, at higher altitudes, for longer periods of time, and with significantly different missile configurations than the A version. Baykar is also working on the AKINCI C, which has a total engine power of 1900 HP (two 950 HP engines). Additionally, the Bayraktar AKINCI C is anticipated to make its first flight in the near future.
Along with the current test operations, Bayraktar AKINCI B also participates in exercises hosted by Turkey. Akıncı took part in the EFES-2022 Exercise held in Izmir Seferihisar in June as well as the Anatolian Eagle Exercise, which concluded last week. An AKINCI drone used during the EFES-2022 exercise departed from its base in the province of Batman, successfully fired at the targets designated at the Doğanbey Exercise Area in Seferihisar, and then made its way back to the base.
Baykar Defense has signed export contracts for the Bayraktar AKINCI drone with four countries so far. While one of these countries is known to be Pakistan, no official statement has been issued for the other three. Last March, the Pakistan Air Force released a video depicting the country’s Air Force’s advancement from the past to the present. Bayraktar Akıncı and Bayraktar TB2 drones can also be seen in the video between 3:12 and 3:25 seconds (see below). After the video was posted on the official page, it was revealed that Pakistan was one of the four countries where Akıncı was sold.
The other three countries with which Baykar Defense signed export contracts for Bayraktar AKINCI are still unknown. Other customers of Akıncı are thought to be Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Qatar. Within the scope of the contracts, the company plans to deliver Bayraktar AKINCI and ground systems to the relevant countries periodically beginning in 2023.