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Turkey to Begin Mass Production of First Unmanned Vessel, the ‘ULAQ’

Turkey will begin mass production of its first unmanned surface vessel (USV), dubbed the “ULAQ,” head of the Turkish Defense Industries Directorate Ismail Demir announced this month.

Developed by ARES Shipyard and Meteksan Defence, the ULAQ can travel up to 400 kilometers (248 miles) at a speed of 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour. It features night vision capabilities and encrypted communication for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and surface warfare.

In January, the ULAQ was first launched at sea for the start of trials. A few months later, it successfully completed all tests, including hitting a land target with a laser-guided Cirit missile.

About the ULAQ Unmanned Vessel

Development of the ULAQ including research and concept studies for the production process began in Turkey in 2018. By 2020, a vessel prototype had been developed.

With a length of 11 meters, the vessel is equipped with four laser-guided Cirit missiles and two laser-guided long-range anti-tank missiles. It can participate in joint operations with complementary forces such as armed UAVs and tactical UAVs.

Last month, the ULAQ completed its first live-fire trial, releasing two laser-guided missiles off the coast of Antalya.

“ULAQ AUSV, which was positioned in the south of Antalya Bay with Turkish Navy’s other combatant manned platforms, took action and was directed from the Mobile Coastal Control Station and transferred to the firing area. After the target was detected by sensors on the ULAQ, CIRIT Laser Guided Missiles were fired and resulted with direct hit on the target,” Meteksan said in a press release.

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