The acceptance test campaign of ANKA Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV System, which was designed and developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), was successfully completed with the last test flights held between January 20-22, 2013.
The 18+ hour long test flight commenced on January 20th at 9:05am and concluded with automatic landing on January 21th at 3:15am, after successful demonstration of full endurance and 200 km data link range performances under winds reaching to 45 kts.
During the flight, Air Traffic Control (ATC) coordination was achieved through on-board radio, which was relayed to GCS (Ground Control Station) over the data link, demonstrating ANKA’s capability to operate safely in an airspace managed by ATC.
On a separate test flight on January 22nd, night take-off and landings were demonstrated using Automatic Take-off and Landing System (ATOLS).
During the acceptance campaign, which has been in progress since Fall 2012, about 130 different ground and flight tests were successfully accomplished, witnessed by MoD Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) and Turkish Air Force representatives, proving ANKA systems’ mission readiness.
Since its first flight in December 2010, ANKA system has accumulated more than 140 flight hours, during which flight control, data link, propulsion, fuel, landing gear, environmental control, ice protection and electrical systems, as well as mission systems including EO/IR payload, ATC radio and data recorder were tested at altitudes reaching 26000ft. Autopilot, navigation, automatic loiter pattern and ATOLS capabilities were demonstrated throughout the flight envelope, including severe weather conditions.
Contract negotiations are already underway with SSM for the initial serial production of ten ANKA systems for the Turkish Air Force.