Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Endless Possibilities - The Bayraktar Akıncı’s Multi-Role Weapons Loadout

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
The Bayraktar Akıncı is the world's first production multi-role unmanned combat aircraft. Arguably the most innovative aspect of the Akıncı is its capability to use air-to-air missiles (AAMs), consisting of the indigenous Bozdoğan IIR-guided AAM and the (fire-and-forget) Gökdoğan BVRAAMs. Another novel feature is the ability to use the 275+km-ranged SOM family of cruise missiles designed to be used against enemy command posts, SAM sites, hardened bunkers ships or any other target that requires a precision hit.
The SOMs will serve alongside the MAM, Kuzgun, Teber, LGK, KGK and (L)HGK family of precision-guided munitions. These munitions consist of indigenously designed guidance kits mated to locally produced Mark-82, Mark-83 and Mark-84 general purpose bombs. To accommodate these munitions, the Akıncı features up to eight underwing hardpoints and another one under its fuselage for a total of nine hardpoints. The latter is set to carry the heaviest ordnance cleared for carriage on the Akıncı, comprising the (L)HGK-84, the NEB-84 and the SOM cruise missiles. 
It should be noted that the design and weapon integration tests of some of the armament listed below continues as of the writing of this article. This list should thus be seen as a complete overview of the Akıncı's weapon loadout once the several types of guided munitions have been verified for use from the new platform. The estimated range of the weaponry when deployed by the Bayraktar Akıncı is indicated in brackets.
(Click on the armament to see a picture of them)

Air-To-Air Missiles (AAMs)

Cruise Missiles

  • TÜBİTAK SAGE SOM-A [275+km] (Uses GPS/INS guidance) [HE fragmentation for use against stationary targets]
  • TÜBİTAK SAGE SOM-B1 [275+km] (Uses GPS/INS/IIR guidance) [HE fragmentation warhead for use against stationary targets)
  • TÜBİTAK SAGE SOM-B2 [275+km] (Uses GPS/INS/IIR guidance) [Tandem penatration warhead for use against hardened targets)
  • TÜBİTAK SAGE SOM-C1 [275+km] (Uses GPS/INS/IIR guidance and datalink) [HE fragmentation warhead for use against mobile targets] (Still in development)
  • TÜBİTAK SAGE SOM-C2 [275+km] (Uses GPS/INS/IIR guidance and datalink) [Tandem penatration warhead for use against mobile hardened targets] (Still in development)
  • TÜBİTAK SAGE SOM-J [275+km] (Uses GPS/INS/IIR guidance and datalink) [Semi-armor piercing warhead for use against naval vessels] (Still in development)

Loitering Munitions

Precision-Guided Muntions (PGMs)


Precision-Guided Bunker Busters


Precision-Guided Air-To-Surface Missiles (ASMs)

For countries interested in buying the Bayraktar Akıncı the fact that all these guided munitions can be sourced directly from Turkey will surely be appreciated. Furthermore, the fact that the UCAV adheres to the NATO standards for munitions means that countries such as Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Pakistan can integrate their indigenously-designed munitions on the Akıncı as well. 
Special thanks to SR_71 and TurkishWarNews.
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