On July 8, Turkey’s Bayraktar Akinci combat drone set a new national aviation record by flying at an altitude of 38,039 feet and staying in the air for 25 hours and 46 minutes.
The Akinci made its maiden flight on December 6, 2019. Since then, the drone has flown a total of 7,507 kilometers, carried out 870 test sorties, and spent 347 hours and 28 minutes in the air.
The record long-haul flight and high-altitude performance test was attended by official delegations, according to the Anadolu Agency.
In another recent test, Akinci flew for 13 hours and 24 minutes with a total payload of 1,360 kg. The payload was a HGK-84 bomb, which is guided by GPS and has a range of 28 km.
With a wingspan of 20 meters, Akinci is among Turkey’s largest combat drones. The drone will be equipped with a beyond-line-of-sight satellite communications system that will enable it to operate thousands of kilometers away from its home base.
Akinci was designed by Turkey’s leading drone manufacturer Baykar to carry out intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition (ISTAR) missions, command, control and communication (C3) tasks as well as combat operations.
The combat drone can deliver a wide variety of weapons. Earlier this year, the drone test-fired the MAM-T glide bomb. The bomb has a maximum range of 30 km and is guided by GPS as well as semi-active laser. The drone also tested the HGK-84 guided bomb.
Turkey’s drone capabilities grew significantly over the last few years. The Turkish military has been relying more and more on combat drones.
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