Turkey’s unique projects in the field of defense industry in recent years, domestic land, sea and air vehicles, the increasing localization of production and the resulting export records are on the agenda of the whole world, especially neighboring countries. However, until today, the projects that have been blocked and unsupported for many years are not known. Here are Turkey’s first Rotary Wing Mini UAV system Baykar Manzikert features…
What happened to Turkey’s first Rotary Wing Mini UAV system?
Baykar Makina, founded by Özdemir Bayraktar in 1984, produced many equipment such as engines, pumps and gearboxes and sold them to many places including defense industry companies. The first studies in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles began in the 2000s. Already in the following period, the name of the company became Baykar Teknoloji.
After 4 years, the autonomous flight software developed began to be tested on discarded UAV systems. The next year, Bayraktar Mini UAV was developed by participating in the government’s mini-UAV project.
Seeing the potential here, Baykar built the Malazgirt Rotary Wing Mini UAV system, a first for that period, with its own resources. Baykar engineers, and even Selçuk Bayraktar himself, spent several years in the field for software inspection and hardware repair of the Bayraktar Mini UAV system, which is used against terrorism in the Southeast region.
After all these, the production process of the Manzikert Rotary Wing Mini UAV officially started in 2008. Around 15 units were produced in 2009 and most of them were delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces. The TSK, on the other hand, started to use it against terrorism in the Southeast region. From this point on, the process in which the project was blocked began. You can see the events in chronological order below.
- In 2006, the development process of Manzikert started. It was tested in the Şırnak region and presented to the General Staff.
- In 2007, SSM officials inspected the project and the devices. Two Manzikert flew at the same time. In addition, the command, control and monitoring operations of the UAV in Ankara were carried out from Istanbul.
- In 2008, Baykar was asked to make some helicopters in the TAF inventory similarly unmanned. However, the additional project was canceled on the pretext of financial burdens.
- In December 2008, 4 Manzikert UAVs were ordered.
- In 2009, all 4 UAVs were tested and delivered in a complete and error-free manner.
- In November 2009, the flights of these UAVs in the Southeast were stopped due to software problems.
- Baykar team, who is currently at the scene, promised in writing that Manzikert is active and ready for flight, that there is no software error, and that a new one will be given regardless of the reason, even if there is a crash. But he could not get a flight permit.
- In 2010, ASELSAN bought a similar product from the American Guided Systems Technologies company for several million dollars. The Land Forces also asked ASELSAN to copy Manzikert.
- In the same year, investments were made in the unmanned helicopters of the US UAV manufacturer AeroVironment. But after millions of dollars in payments, the technology bought from America failed.
- Finally, Camcopter UAV helicopter systems were purchased from the Austrian company Schiebel.
Helicopter systems, which are pioneers in this type of field, are much more difficult to develop, especially due to their more complex mechanical structure compared to airplanes and the high number of moving parts. It is normal to have mechanical and software problems in a project that is only a few years old.
However, despite this, Baykar said that he would repair the software and hardware of the Malazgirt UAV system even if there was no problem caused by them, and even if necessary, he would replace it with a new one free of charge, but the project was shelved.
Selçuk Bayraktar said the following on the subject:
The bureaucrats of that period stopped the Manzikert project with various excuses, slander and slander. When we worked very hard on the land in the Southeast, I spent 3-4 years on the land.
Baykar Malazgirt Rotary Wing Mini UAV features
- rotor diameter: 1.2m
- Total take-off weight: 12 Kg
- Flight time: 90 min
- Range: 20 km
- operational altitude: 3,600 Feet- 1+ km
- Engine options: Electric and gasoline
- Fully automatic take off, hover, cruise and landing
- Automatic autorotation feature
- 2 Axis Camera Mechanism
- Automatic Target Point Tracking (INS/GPS Integration, Dual Kalman filter)
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