TAI Anka

  • anka-tai

Introduction
The TAI Anka (English: Angha, a phoenix-like mythological creature) is a family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries for use by the Turkish Air Force.

Design

A TIHA system consists of three air vehicles (A/V), Ground Control Station (GCS), Ground Data Terminal (GDT), Automatic Take-off and Landing System (ATOLS), Transportable Image Exploitation System (TIES), Remote Video Terminal (RVT) and various Ground Support Equipment (GSE).
The TIHA system, which is designed for night and day missions including adverse weather conditions, performs real time image intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, moving/stationery target detection, recognition, identification and tracking missions.

While the TIHA system has an open architecture to support other potential payloads and missions, within the context of the existing project the air vehicle is configured to carry the following payloads onboard:

Electro-optic Color Day Camera (EO Day TV)

Electro-optic/Forward Looking Infrared/Laser Range Finder/Laser Designator and Spotter Camera (EO/FLIR/LRF/LDS)

Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI)

Inverse SAR (ISAR)

The whole composite airframe is composed of a monoblock fuselage, detachable wing and V-Tail, retractable landing gear, redundant control surfaces, avionics and payload bays and service doors. The sandwich skin structure is reinforced by composite or metallic frames, ribs and supports. Propelled by a pusher type heavy fuel engine, the aircraft is furnished with fuselage fuel tanks and fuel system, ice protection system, environmental control system, lighting system, redundant electrical system with battery backup and harness system.
The platform is also equipped with a digital flight control system, electro-mechanical actuators, and flight control sensor systems such as GPS, pitot-static, air data computer, navigation sensor, transducers, temperature, pressure, displacement sensors, etc. Various tasks are distributed along flight management computers and auxiliary control boxes. Identification and communication units and interface computers are employed in order to establish real time wide band communication and provide test and diagnostics functions. An air traffic radio is also integrated in the communication system for the integration of the aircraft into the civilian airspace. All flight critical equipment are dual or triple redundant and emergency modes of operational scenarios are taken into consideration for fail safe design.

All airborne and ground based flight control software is developed by TAI while payload hardware and software items are aimed to be developed by national sub-contractors, such as Aselsan and Milsoft.

TIHA operations are supported by highly sophisticated ground control system with complete redundancy, developed by a domestic defence company Savronik. Whole mission segments of the air vehicle can be managed, monitored and controlled by a GCS. A pre-programmed mission plan can be loaded before the flight begins or can be altered during the flight. All the imagery stream of the payloads can be displayed and recorded in real time and all the payloads can be controlled from the GCS. ATOLS allows the air vehicle to perform its operation without operator intervention, including the most critical phases which are landing and take-off.

In TIES, valuable intelligence information can be obtained by the analysis of bulky imagery data. TIES operators can initiate intelligence missions prior to or during flight. Refined information flows to the upper command layer in order to assist the headquarters to monitor a network of TIHA systems and benefit from the gathered intelligence information. Another interface of the TIHA system is the RVT, with which other friendly units who are close to the target area can utilize the real time imagery that TIHA air vehicle broadcasts.

Development

The contract regarding the development of an indigenous Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system for the reconnaissance requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces became effective on 24 December 2004. Within the framework of the program, a total of three prototypes and ground systems will be designed, developed, manufactured and tested by mid 2011 as part of the prototype development phase. Subsequently in 2012, the serial production phase of Anka-A will be launched and additional 10 systems (meaning 30 air vehicles) will be built for the Turkish Air Force.
On 30 December 2010, the first TAI Anka unmanned aerial vehicle completed its debut flight, with 14 minutes of cruising, at 15:45 local time. Defence Minister Vecdi Gönül confirmed the flight.

On 5 May 2011, TAI released the test flight video of Anka. Anka-A flew a test and calibration mission of 2h 30m.

Turkish Aerospace Industries announced on the 25th of October 2011 that the ANKA had successfully completed its subsequent flight and landing tests and that it will now be in the Turkish Air Force inventory in 2012 that is much earlier than expected. Footage released by TAI also shows the ANKA landing successfully putting all speculation abouts its crash landings to rest.

On November 22, 2011, the Anka held the follow-up test flight for 6 hours at 20,000 ft. The vehicle demonstrated its automatic take-off and landing system for the first time.

On January 5, 2012, Defence Industry Executive Committee authorized Undersecretariat for Defence Industries to commence talks with Turkish Aerospace Industries for the serial production of 10 Anka vehicles.

On September 27, 2012, an Anka prototype crashed during a flight test due to a technical problem.

On January 20, 2013, Anka completed acceptance tests by the Turkish Air Force. The final acceptance tests were conducted near Ankara, and involved an 18 hour long, 200 Km ring flight. The tests also included a night landing in adverse weather conditions. The Anka has flown more than 140 hours and reached and altitude of 26,000 feet.

Development of Anka +A
On the 19th of July 2012, the Turkish Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) announced that Turkish Aerospace Industries had commenced research and development for the design and development of a “hunter killer” High Altitude Long Endurance version of the ANKA UAV, named the Anka +A. It is planned that Anka +A will carry Cirit missiles of Turkey’s Roketsan. The engines of Anka +A UCAV has not yet been determined. It may have more powerful turbo engines or it could have Turbuni engine. The weight of Anka +A UCAV will be more than 4 tons compared to Anka UAV’s 1.5 tons.

Variants
Future variants of Anka will have larger payload capacity extending its current capabilities under the following features:

SATCOM

SIGINT

Armament- Air to Ground and Air to Air missile integration

The TAI Anka will also eventually have an indigenous 155hp Turbo prop engine developed by Tusaş Engine Industries (TEI) with cooperation with other Turkish companies in the future.

ANKA-TP (SIHA- Strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
A 5+ Ton, Turbo-fan powered, High Altitude Long Endurance version of the ANKA is also being planned.

TAI officials have announced that the Strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle version named ANKA-TP will feature a new mission computer, airframe and have the ability to carry between 1 to 1.5 Tons in armament. It will have a span of 23 meters, speed of between 200 to 250 knots and a cruising altitude of 40,000+ ft.

Export
On 23 November 2012, Egypt contracted with Turkish Aerospace Industries to purchase 10 Anka UAV’s.

Specs
Powerplant: 1 × Thielert Centurion 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder engine, 155 hp
Avionics: ASELFLIR-300T, SAR/GMTI, ISAR payload, INS/GPS and air data sensor suite system

ModelLength
(m)
Wingspan
(m)
Height
(m)
Max. Takeoff Weight
(kg)
Max Speed
(km/h)
Range
(km)
Endurance
(hours)
Ceiling
(m)
Payload
(kg)
Anka817.33.416002174896249144200

Manufacturer
CountryNameHeadquartersURL
TurkeyTurkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)Kazan, Ankarahttp://www.tai.com.tr