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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Bayraktar Akinci: Turkey’s New Combat Drone Is Ready for Primetime

Bayraktar Akinci
Baykar Bayraktar Akıncı unmanned armed aerial vehicle.

It took the war in Ukraine to show the world that Turkey can make a mean drone. You may have heard of the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone that is making life miserable for Russia’s military. If not, take it from us, the TB2 is massively effective. Now the Turkish drone maker Baykar is testing a new combat drone called the Bayraktar Akinci and the Turks hope to build on the success of the TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle.

New Drone is Hitting Significant Milestones

The long-range high-endurance Akinci passed another test May 21 when two of the combat drones took off from Turkey and made it all the way to Azerbaijan. The Akinci is expected to make an impression by being featured at a technology festival in Azerbaijan, so the Turks flew it there to make a statement.

The flight of the Akinci began in the Tekirdağ’s Çorlu district in northwest Turkey. Then they flew over Georgia and landed at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku. The flight was 1,243 miles long and the drones made it in five hours.

It’s Built for Multiple Combat Roles

Baykar delivered the Akincis to the Turkish military in August of last year and they are making drone watchers take notice. A previous test in April showed off the combat drone’ armaments. It displayed several interesting aspects during this flight. First, it hit a target on the water using a MK-82 bomb. Second, the Ankici was working in tandem with a TB2. The TB2 laser designated the target, and it was bombs away. Third, the elevation of the attack was impressive – the bomb dropped from 20,000 feet.

Akinci Aims to Mirror the Missions of Manned Fighter Jets

The company web site has much to brag about. The system has artificial intelligence for better situational awareness and is made for difficult combat missions you would associate with a manned warplane flight. Plus, it can carry out intelligence and recon missions.

“Bayraktar Akinci is capable of conducting operations that are performed with fighter jets. It carries electronic support systems, dual satellite communication systems, air-to-air radar, collision avoidance radar and synthetic aperture radar,” according to the corporate web site.

Can It Really Deploy All Those Weapons?

The Akinci has a whopping 3,000-pound payload. This including an array of ordnance the aircraft can deploy is impressive if the company can be believed. It can deliver mini-smart munitions, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, and other types of guided bombs.

The wings and fuselage are specifically designed to carry these munitions. The aircraft is big for a drone. It is 40-feet long, 13-feet high, with a wingspan of 65-feet. The take-off weight is 12,100 pounds.

Excelling in Stand-off Combat

The ability to fire stand-off missiles out of the range of other killer drones and surface-to-air missiles is a big selling point for the Turkish military. The Akinci is built for the stand-off missile game that will be so prevalent in warfare in the coming years. Customers like the Ukrainian army – who is so good at flying the TB2 – can eventually buy the Akinci, although it is not clear how much the newer drone will cost and whether it can be easily exported.

TB2 Drone

TB2 Drone. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Bayraktar TB2 Drone

Bayraktar TB2 Drone of the Ukrainian Air Force.

Baykar is becoming a leader in combat and recon drone technology. Turkey is a NATO member, and the drone could potentially be purchased by member nations to bolster unmanned capabilities. The Akinci shows the Turkish military industrial base has world-class aerial designers and engineers. I’m impressed by the size, long range, loiter time, and the number of arms systems it can carry. Ukraine can only hope that the Akinci could someday join the TB2 in the war against Russia.

Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.



  1. fatima

    May 26, 2022 at 6:18 am

    Very soon will beracktar be
    reduced to a simple butterfly .

  2. Patrico

    May 26, 2022 at 6:39 am

    Pour ceux qui se passionnent et suivent l actualité Drone UCAVs dans le monde il est très clair et depuis des années ! Que la Turquie avec ses industries Aéronautiques dont Baykar sont en pointe et occupent les toutes premières places des grandes puissances Europe et autres ! Il faut leurs rendre ces belles performences dans ces domaines et, je pense et devine qu ils ont d autres projets novateurs dans les Ordis ! MERCI a vous Tous !

  3. naji

    May 26, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    They go up and they never come back. Russia destroyed over 100 of them. Not even 20 of them hit a Russia target. Drones. Are slow and easy target.

  4. Abu

    May 26, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    One day turkey will sell most advance drone to the muslim country. Watch out Israel one day you will destroy with the country like turkey, iran, indonesia not from arab country.

  5. Mustafa

    May 26, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    Well well all comments coming from either a PKK terrorist An ermenian a Syrian or a jealous Jew. You all can only wish that, that many was shot down. Turkey has about few 100 of TB2 so 100s to be shot down You would have to be in a dream land. My point to PKK and syrian army members If you are a Muslim then you must know Islam have to be under one flag as Prophet Muhammed p.b.u.h has ordered us in the holy book of Qur’an. Which is the word of God!! Then what are you doing fighting the Turks. You are already sinning. That’s why the whole middle east is in chaos. You stabbed Ottoman Empire back in 1900s and till today all middle east countries are continuing to pay thru their noses.

  6. Thuận

    May 27, 2022 at 6:09 am

    No joebiden, Ukraine, f16

  7. Nobe35

    May 28, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    Los Drones Bayraktar TB2 de la Fuerza Aérea de Ucrania de origen Turco son un gran dolor de cabeza para los invasores rojos, ya destruyeron decenas de tanques “invencibles” según decía Rusia, es de imaginar con drones mas sofisticados y el gran entrenamiento y poder patriótico de los ucranianos, es de imaginar el daño que harán a los “invasores rusos”.

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