By Kaan Azman
During the first day of 4th Military Radar and Border Security Summit MRBS’23, ANKA-3 Unmanned Combat Aircraft’s technical specifications were announced. ANKA-3’s prototype was revealed on 18 March 2023 in a Twitter post of TAI CEO Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil.
Technical Specifications of ANKA-3 System:
- Common avionic architecture and Ground Control Station (GCS) with ANKA and AKSUNGUR
- Low Radar Cross Section
- High payload capacity
- LOS/BLOS (Satellite Control)
MTOW: 6500 kg
- Payload Capacity: 1200 kg
- Service Altitude: 40.000 ft
- Endurance: 10 hours @ 30.000 ft
- Cruising Speed: 250 kts/0.42 M @ 30.000 ft
- Maximum Speed: 425 kts/0.7 M @ 30.000 ft
Common avionic architecture and GCS with TAI’s previous and actively used UCAV platforms might come as a trivial feature for the majority at first look. However, when reviewed with logistics, ease of introduction into service and network-centric warfare it brings many advantages to the table. Branches of Turkish Armed Forces that already use ANKA and AKSUNGUR UCAVs would have little trouble with introduction of ANKA-3 when internal and control interface commonality is taken into consideration. Avionics commonality can also end up as a benefit for TAI itself, making transition to serial production simpler.
ANKA-3’s 10 hour endurance can -in theory- provide it an operational radius in thousand-kilometers range, which would be critical for deep strike missions it is mainly intended for. Alternatively long endurance (for its class) can allow for longer duration of supportive missions like ISR, Electronic Warfare and Close Air Support (CAS).
It can be estimated that AI-322 turbofans will power the prototype which will also be used on later models of Bayraktar KIZILELMA will be used on ANKA-3 with technical and political factors considered. Such as correspondence to the performance values announced by TAI and Turkish-Ukrainian cooperation on aircraft engines.
Like Bayraktar KIZILELMA’s case, it is possible that new developments from ANKA-3 with higher performance (Speed, altitude, payload capacity) and design improvments (New engine nozzle with better stealth charcteristics… etc ) might emerge.