Heavily-armed and dangerous: The Akinci drone in the skies
One should not forget that the underlying success in the Karabakh, Syria, and Libya frontiers were not merely Turkish drones, but Turkish way of drone warfare.
Recently, the Turkish Armed Forces have started receiving the first batch of its new Akinci unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Designed and produced by Baykar, namely the makers of the ‘Pantsir-hunter’ Bayraktar TB-2, the Akinci drone comes with heavy fire-power and flexible concepts of operations (CONOPS). More importantly, along with other key achievements, such as TUSAS’ Aksungur drone with anti-submarine warfare capabilities….[E.g., for use in the Aegean and Black Seas.]
Baykar’s Bayraktar TB-2 played chief roles in Azerbaijan’s military victory in the Second Karabakh War following Turkey’s Syria and Libya expeditions. Being a much bigger beast than the Bayraktar TB-2, the Akinci’s large combat payload capacity of 1,350 tons will bring more lethal weaponry and flexible CONOPS.
Amongst the Akinci’s combat payload configurations, without a doubt, SOM-A indigenous air-launched cruise missile deserves the utmost attention. With a range of about 250 kilometers, the SOM-A & Akinci combination will provide Turkish military planners with deep strike capabilities from unmanned platforms. In hostile airspaces, such as Syria to begin with, such a capacity can yield decisive strategic results, especially against high-value target sets.