Kazakhstan to produce TAI Turkish Aerospace Industries Anka UAVs

According to Joe Saballa in The Defense Post, Turkey has agreed to collaborate with Kazakhstan in manufacturing Anka unmanned aerial vehicles. The agreement was reached when Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev paid an official visit to Ankara with a large delegation last week.

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Kazakhstan to Produce TAI Turkish Aerospace Industries Anka UAVs  Anka-Aksungur MALE UCAV (Picture source: Army Recognition)

A similar previous agreement had been concluded in December 2021 with Ukraine but the war triggered by Russia on February 24, 2022, creates uncertainty for the future of this program. Now, as part of the Anka agreement with Kazakhstan, engineers from Kazakhstan will design and build the medium-altitude, long-endurance drone with the help of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). The collaboration will include technology transfer, maintenance, and repairs. Once finalized, the agreement will make Kazakhstan the first Anka drone production facility outside Turkey, as the deal with Ukraine is currently compromised.

Envisioned in the early 2000s for aerial surveillance and reconnaissance missions, Anka has evolved into a modular platform with synthetic aperture radar, precise weapons, and satellite communication. The basic version, Anka-A, was classified as a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle for reconnaissance missions. Introduced in 2010, Anka was granted its first contract in 2013 from the Turkish Air Force which requested further studies in advanced uninterrupted intelligence, reconnaissance, and communication technologies. The aircraft was set to a long development phase to introduce a national mission computer, national flight control system, synthetic aperture radar, indigenous engine, and friend or foe identification system. Anka-B made its first flight in 2014 and completed factory tests in 2015. In 2017, Turkish Aerospace Industries introduced Anka-S and the aircraft entered service with the Turkish Air Force.

Turkish Aerospace Industries offers the aircraft in two versions: Anka-B and Anka-S. Anka-I was developed specifically for Turkey's National Intelligence Organization for signal intelligence. Anka has accumulated more than 90,000 flight hours as of March 2021. The drone is named after Phoenix, a mythological creature called Zümrüd-ü Anka in Turkish.