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Learn All About Battlefield Drones In Airborne ISR 2022

October 5, 2022
Andriy Yermak and Seljuk Bayraktar hold a portrait of the Akinci combat drone on October 2. Via Baykar Tech.

Türkiye’s best known aerospace company is still riding the crest of its global fame thanks to the prominence enjoyed by its bestselling TB2 medium altitude combat drone. The importance of this platform for its operators, foremost the Ukrainian armed forces, was reaffirmed when a high-ranking government official visited the Baykar HQ last weekend to discuss a future assembly plant in Ukraine. No less than Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky announced the joint venture in his daily update on October 3 and revealed the drones and their power plants are being made locally.

While Ukraine’s TB2’s suffered losses in the past several months of fighting multiple replacements were crowdfunded and Baykar returned the gesture by donating additional TB2’s, with the money raised going to charities instead. However, it seems the level of cooperation between Baykar and the Ukrainian government is now deeper than it was since 2021 when the original plans were laid to establish an assembly plant, whose floor area alone is speculated to reach 30,000 square meters. Judging by an October 2 visit from Andriy Yermak, a personal representative of Pres. Zelensky, Baykar is in the process of preparing the Akinci combat drone and the cutting edge Kizilelma combat drone for delivery to Ukraine at an undetermined date.

The Akinci is a twin engine medium-to-high altitude model with a significant payload. When Roketsan’s SOM cruise missile are supplied to the end user the Akinci can be armed with one under its belly while its wings are loaded with smaller ordnance. The Kizilelma is even more ambitious, a stealthy combat drone with high subsonic speeds and up to six hours of mission endurance, it began as a project called MIUS for a deck-based jet-powered combat drone for the navy. It’s now evolving into a multirole strike platform with sufficient internal space for various munitions. If Ukraine’s military ever fly the Akinci and Kizilelma either will provide unmatched battlefield oversight and go a long way in reconstituting its diminished air power.

The significance of Türkiye’s renowned UAVs being assembled in Ukraine is further proof that persistent airborne intelligence gathering–along with the machines that enable the work–whether accompanied by kinetic missions or not are an inescapable requirement for any military organization. This is being discussed at length among NATO allies and an important event where ideas on airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) is taking place in London from 19 until 20 October–less than two weeks away! 21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for this event.

The seventh annual Airborne ISR conference provides delegates with insights that cover maritime patrol, data dissemination, UAV technology, international surveillance cooperation, AWACS, fifth-generation ISR, industrial engagement, and threat evolution.

A diverse range of experts and speakers from NATO allies including the UK, USA, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Lithuania, Romania, and more, will discuss the latest developments in airborne intelligence gathering. The organizers SMG describe the conference as “not to be missed” and emphasize the networking opportunities for attendees and participants who can enjoy access to military and industry decision-makers in Airborne ISR as well as experts who are defining the future of technological capabilities.

This year’s conference is proudly chaired by Air Commodore (ret’d) Paddy Teakle, Former Deputy Commander, NATO AEW&C Force Command, welcoming people interested in the future of Airborne ISR to attend.

SMG confirmed other military and industry speakers:

  • Air Commodore James Beck, Assistant Chief of Staff Capability Strategy – HQ Air Command, RAF
  • Brigadier General Andrew Clark, Commander Allied Ground Surveillance Force, NATO
  • Colonel Eric Mack, Commander 363d ISR Wing, USAF
  • Colonel Jeffrey Davis, 14 Wing Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force
  • And many more…

A truly global event, delegates will hear from expert industry and military speakers from around the world on the full spectrum of challenges, priorities, and updates for allied armed forces, as Airborne ISR capabilities have become more vital for effective operations.

Contact Daniele Moreschi to discuss exciting sponsorship opportunities to join our existing supporters on +44 (0) 207 827 6050 or dmoreschi@smi-online.co.uk

For delegate enquiries, please contact Callum Kenmure on +44 (0) 20 7827 6138 or ckenmure@smi-online.co.uk

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