Turkey’s Drones Are Coming In All Sizes These Days

Turkey is developing an increasing variety of lethal armed drones that range from large high-flying bomb-laden ones to very small, low-flying ones that can form deadly swarms.

In recent years, Turkey has developed an impressive local drone industry from the ground up. Armed Turkish-built Bayraktar TB2 and Anka-S drones have already proven themselves in combat in operations in Syria, Iraq, and even as far afield as Libya.

Ankara is presently building a variety of bigger and smaller drones that will fulfill a multitude of different roles for the Turkish military. 

For example, in September 2020, Turkey’s upcoming Aksungur drone, built by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), completed a 28-hour-long test flight carrying various weapons.

According to TAI, the turboprop Aksungur carried 12 Turkish-built MAM-L (Smart Micro Munition) guided missiles under its wings. Such a payload is much bigger than what the Bayraktar TB2 or Anka-S can carry.

MAM-L’s weigh 22 kilograms and can hit targets up to 14 kilometers away. They can also be fitted with different kinds of warheads – from high explosives to warheads specialized in penetrating tank armor. The munitions proved their worth in February-March 2020 drone campaign against Syrian ground forces in Idlib province when Turkish Bayraktar TB2s and Anka-S drones successfully used MAM-L’s against several Syrian tanks and other vehicles.