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AA 05/05/19: Turkish aircraft firm sets sights on supersonic UAV

In latest project, Turkish Aircraft Industries plans to produce high-speed unmanned aerial vehicle


Turkish Aircraft Industries (TAI) has a 380-kph capacity unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the works, according to its CEO.

TAI, which introduced the new Aksungur 180-kph UAV at last week’s International Defense Industry Expo (IDEF'19) in Istanbul, is working on a supersonic UAV called Goksungur, Temel Kotil told Anadolu Agency.

Kotil said: "TAI created the twin-engine-powered Aksungur in just 18 months."

TAI manufactured two Aksungurs for test flights and will deliver them this year to the Turkish Armed Forces, he added.

After completion of the Aksungur this year, TAI will start work on the Goksungur, he said.

In Turkish, Aksungur means gyrfalcon, and Goksungur means peregrine falcon, the world’s fastest bird.

He highlighted that Aksungur has a 750-kg carrying capacity, a sharp upgrade from the 200-kg capacity of the earlier model.

"We produce components for aviation giant such as Airbus, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, and have annual exports totaling $500 million," Kotil said.

He added that in 2019, TAI’s product range will help it reach $2.6 billion in turnover.

TAI produces UAVs, communication satellite, planes, helicopters and components, and also works on modernizing projects.

Kotil said TAI currently employs 3,600 engineers, a number set to climb to 4,600 later this year.

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