Two Turkish Akinci drones completed a long-distance flight from western Turkey to Azerbaijan on Saturday, according to the manufacturer, Baykar.
The two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) took off from Çorlu district in the northwestern city of Tekirdag — one in the morning and the second in the afternoon — flying across Turkey and through Georgia before landing in Azerbaijan.
The flights covered approximately 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) in five hours, “a first in Turkish aviation history” according to the developer.
The combat drones were flown to Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku to be displayed at the Teknofest aviation, space, and technology conference this week.
They will be on display alongside many other Turkish-made defense industry wares from companies such as Turkish Aerospace Industries, Roketsan, TUSAŞ Engine Industries, Havelsan, and Aselsan.
— BAYKAR (@BaykarTech) May 21, 2022
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The Akinci was first delivered to the Turkish military in late August of last year and represents “the most advanced and sophisticated drone built by the country to date,” according to Daily Sabah.
Larger than the Bayraktar, the UAV features a 20-meter (65-foot) wingspan with “unique twisted wing structure, a triple-redundant autopilot system, and fully automatic flight control.”
Designed for air-to-air and air-to-surface strikes, the drone can be fitted with Smart Micro Munitions, various air-to-air missiles, an air-to-ground stand-off missile with a range of up to 150 miles (240 kilometers), and active electronically-scanned array radar.
In tests, the Akinci has flown to an altitude of 38,039 feet (11,594 meters), a flight time of 25 hours and 46 minutes, and a maximum distance of 7,507 kilometers (4,660 miles), according to the outlet.
Six Akinci combat drones have been delivered to the Turkish military so far, with their first military operation taking place last month in strikes against “PKK terrorist targets in northern Iraq.”