Turkey’s special forces have received a first batch of loitering munitions, Jane’s has learned at the Gulf Defence & Aerospace exhibition in Kuwait City.
The two types of loitering munitions, both developed by the country’s STM, were delivered two months ago for training purposes. They will be followed by a larger batch for fielding in early 2018.
The first of the two loitering munition types is the Alpagu, a fixed-wing, pneumatically tube-launched design similar in appearance to the AeroVironment Switchblade. The second is the Kargu, a quadcopter design. Both use a fragmentation high explosive charge, but representatives of STM told Jane’s that feedback from users has prompted the development of a thermobaric warhead.
Additionally, the two UAVs share a common computer imaging-based targeting system, designed to use machine learning to optimise target classification, tracking, and attack capabilities without the requirement for a GPS connection. Both have a range of 5 km, an endurance of approximately 10 minutes, and a deployment time of 45 seconds.