Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts

Friday, 8 April 2022

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
In a conflict that is shaping up to be one of the most intense and rapidly developing of our time, drones have come to play an increasingly important role, and could well end up being one of the pivotal factors in its eventual conclusion. Thus, the delivery of at least 16 additional Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs, on top of the 18 already in Ukraine's pre-war inventory, constitutes perhaps one of the most significant instances of support to Ukraine's plight yet. [1] Now evidence has emerged that Turkey's drone contributions have not remained limited to the TB2, with new combat footage of Baykar's Mini-Bayraktar UAV confirming their delivery to the country. [2]

Thursday, 24 March 2022

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
As a conflict that is quickly becoming established as one of the most ferocious and costly wars of the modern era continues to rage in Europe's East, more and more evidence of staggering losses on both sides becomes apparent. [1] Ukrainian cities are being reduced to rubble overnight in bombardments that are brutal both for their intensity and disregard for civilian life, while equipment losses, especially on the Russian side, are astonishing. Amidst this chaos, Ukraine has been the recipient of a steady influx of armament that nevertheless falls far short from being decisive, with some of its most generous (though involuntary) donations so far in fact coming from the Russian Army. [1]

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
The still early but shockingly brutal invasion of Ukraine by Putin's Russia has thrown the historically tragedy-ridden country back into some of its darkest days. Besieged from three directions whilst a vastly larger military force rains down fire on any target with little to no regard for civilian life, it is struggling for its very right to exist – with Vladimir Putin repeatedly making allusions to his intention of essentially dissolving the country into Russia. Under these circumstances, and with this grim prospective, the Ukrainian people would be forgiven for feeling hopeless and abandoned.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer in collaboration with Kemal, Dan and Jakub Janovsky
 
A list of Russian targets confirmed to have been destroyed or neutralised by Bayraktar TB2s over Ukraine can be viewed below. This list only includes destroyed vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available. In some cases this solely consists of footage that was recorded on the ground. In these cases, the use of an armed drone was reported by witnesses on the ground. In an effort to attract as little attention to its operations as possible, very little footage of TB2 strikes over Ukraine has been released. Therefore, the amount of equipment destroyed by TB2s is likely significantly higher than recorded here. The list will be updated as additional footage becomes available.  

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky, Dan, and COIN
 
Bin atlı o gün dev gibi bir orduyu yendik! - A thousand cavaliers, we beat a giant army that day! (Akıncılar, by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)

The Bayraktar TB2 has changed the notion of how modern-day conflicts are being fought that, now that it has been tried and tested in at least three separate conflicts, cannot be reverted. The fact that a relatively light and inexpensive drone could not only evade but actively search out and destroy modern surface-to-air missile (SAM) and electronic warfare (EW) systems while suffering little losses in return has rightfully garnered worldwide attention. The result of the TB2's entry into combat was a stunning upset of the status quo, forcing many countries to rethink their approach to defence.
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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Turkey's rise to a global drone power has drawn attention from all corners of the world. While there likely have been few developments in the past years that have benefited NATO as much as the profileration of the Bayraktar TB2, others maintain that Turkish drones pose a threat to NATO or even world peace. Disregarding the fact that two NATO countries have so far ordered the TB2 and five more NATO member states are presently considering their acquisition, some of the claims from certain American politicians seem to be made on their personal background or family ties. [1]

Thursday, 10 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Turkey's ambitions in the field of aviation have spawned advanced aircraft designs like the TF-X stealth fighter, the Hürjet advanced jet trainer and the T625 Gökbey helicopter. Equally great strides have been made in the design and production of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), most notably the Bayraktar Akıncı and the MIUS combat jet. Research, development and production of these designs (often within short timeframes) by Turkey is impressive, showing just what teams of motivated engineers supported, but not micromanaged, by its government can achieve.

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
The past two decades has seen the modernisation of Turkey's rail transport on a broad basis - and the Turkish government appears dead set to further advance the country's rail network in the coming years. Turkey currently possesses more high-speed rail than countries like South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom, and once it completes lines currently under construction or in the planning phase it is set to have the third largest high-speed rail network in the world. [1] [2] Ambitions hardly stop there, with the country on track to becoming a rail superpower: as in addition to building the necessary rail infrastructure Turkey will also design the trains that operate on it.

Monday, 7 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

As a pioneer in the aerospace sector, Turkey has designed a number of advanced manned and unmanned aircraft types. Most of these have been for the benefit of the Turkish Air Force and other air arms around the globe. Still, Turkey once had ambitious plans to enter the civilian aviation market with its TRjet domestic airliner project, which was cancelled in 2017. While this appeared to have put an end to any concrete plans to design and produce civilian aircraft at that time, it is certain that Turkey's ambitions in this sector continued to simmer in the background.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Armed with several torpedoes and nimble in their movements, these hunters and killers of the deep dare not be dismissed by their smaller size. The potency of small submarines was reaffirmed when a North Korean midget submarine sunk the ROKS Cheonan, a Pohang-class corvette of the South Korean Navy, in 2010. The Cheonan's active sonar had failed to detect the North Korean submarine that had been lurking in the area for the past day, which fired a single 533mm torpedo at the unsuspecting target. The submarine that had caused this tragedy slipped back into the dark waters of the North unnoticed, providing a tragic reminder of the effectiveness of small submarines.

Monday, 31 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Indonesia's stated desire to acquire drones from Turkey could one day also see an interest in the Bayraktar TB3, which was designed as a heavier version of the TB2 that can also operate from aircraft carriers and landing helicopter docks (LHDs). [1] The Indonesian Navy has already experimented with using fixed-wing UAVs from the helicopter deck of one of its Dutch-built Diponegoro-class corvettes. [2] Although the UAV could only take-off from the vessel and had to land at an air base, the effort clearly indicates that Indonesia is interested in operating shipborne fixed-wing UAVs.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

After the recent success of Turkish unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) in Central Asia, all eyes are now set on the profileration of Turkish drones in Africa. [1] Tunisia has ordered the Anka UAS by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) while Morocco, Libya and Niger have all purchased Bayraktar TB2s. Other Sub-Saharan African countries like Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Togo have either hinted at an acquisition of the TB2 or have already placed an order for the type. [2] More countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are almost certain to follow as the TB2 is arguably the first UCAV that manages to combine reliability and affordability with devastatingly effective results on the battlefield.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
A great number of military projects currently pursued by Turkey have the potential to drastically alter the military balance in the Aegean Sea to the point that Greece is unlikely to ever subside the difference in quality and quantity. This includes the Bayraktar Akinci and MIUS unmanned combat aircraft, the TF-2000 air-defence destroyers, an indigenous fleet of armed unmanned surface vessels (AUSVs), six Type-214TN Reis class submarines with air-independent propulsion and the prospective introduction of small attack submarines. All of these weapon systems are to strengthen Turkey's fleet of some 200 armed drones already conducting regular patrols over the Aegean.
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By Stijn Mitzer
 
The Azerbaijani Navy operates a hodgepodge of naval vessels mostly inherited from the Soviet Union after the country achieved independence in 1991. While Azerbaijan's State Border Service has in recent years introduced a large number of Israeli patrol boats, the Azerbaijani Navy has to do with the leftovers, with its only 'new' acquisitions presenting a number of Soviet-era patrol boats and tugs transferred from the State Border Service. Perhaps as a result of its seemingly unremarkable inventory of ships, little attention has been devoted to the operations of the Azerbaijani Navy.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Although many military analysts are well aware of Turkey's rise to a drone power, meanwhile also including the first production multi-role unmanned combat aircraft in the world, not nearly enough know about Turkey's strives in the design of unmanned surface vessels (USVs). [1] The year 2021 witnessed the unveiling of three armed unmanned surface vessel (AUSV) types, the ULAQ-series by ARES, the NB57/RD09 by Sefine and the USV 11/15 by Dearsan. Thanks to these designs, its UCAVs and a great number of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), Turkey is well on its way to becoming the market leader in unmanned weapon systems.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

During the 2021 edition of Teknofest in Istanbul it was announced that Turkey intends to organise its Teknofest technology festival in other countries as well. [1] Several nations come to mind that maintain a strong relationship with Turkey and are a recipient of Turkish arms and technology, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). One such country is Azerbaijan, which has made significant investments in the acquisition and production of various types of unmanned weapon systems and is currently looking to expand on its domestic technology base.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Out of all the aerospace collaborations currently discussed between Ukraine and Turkey, the possibility of completing the second An-225 Mriya, the world's largest cargo aircraft, is arguably the most fascinating. Turkey's interest in the An-225 was first reported in October 2020, when President Erdoğan raised the idea of completing the aircraft during a visit of Ukrainian President Zelensky to Ankara. [1] Although little has been heard of the plan since, Turkish involvement could mean a breakthrough in providing the stimulus and funds to finally complete the second An-225 and bringing it into service.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Kemal
 
Egemenlik verilmez, alınır - Sovereignty is not given, it is taken (By Mustafa Kemal Atatürk)

The Turkish Navy is set to build at least four TF-2000 air-defence destroyers that will be the most capable and heavily-armed naval vessels in the Mediterranean Sea once they enter service throughout the 2030s. The TF-2000 will incorporate almost every technological achievement made by Turkey in the field of naval systems in the last decade, including an indigenous vertical launch system (VLS) fitted with domestic surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and Gezgin land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs) and (notably) directed-energy weapons including high-energy lasers (HELs).

Saturday, 15 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
The Otokar Cobra is one of the world's most successful infantry mobility vehicle (IMV) designs. Since the vehicle's inception in 1997, thousands of Cobra Is have been exported to more than twenty countries worldwide. Otokar would follow up on the original design with the improved Cobra II, which has meanwhile entered service with four more countries. Otokar has also designed a series of larger AFVs, of which the Arma APC and Tulpar IFV are arguably the most famous. Less well known is the export of Otokar Urals along with Cobra Is to Turkmenistan somewhere during the mid-2010s.

Rather than entering service with the Turkmenistan Army, the Otokar Urals were delivered to the Ministry of Internal Affairs while the State Border Service took possession of most if not all of the Cobra Is. The exotic blue camouflage pattern of the Ural IMVs contributes little to masking their presence in about any terrain imaginable, but with the service acting as the country's police force it can be argued that this is actually intended. Nonetheless, the 12.7mm NSV heavy machine gun (HMG) installed in the cupola clearly suggests that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has an auxiliary combat task as well.

The more than hundred or so Cobras delivered to the country have been seen in several different camouflage patterns throughout their active career, which in Turkmenistan are known to change on a frequent basis. [1] The most recent one - seen during the 30th anniversary of independence parade in September 2021 - is broadly similar to some of the patterns worn by the soldiers of Turkmenistan's Ground Forces, albeit with far larger pixels or dots. Although arguably less spectacular than the pattern worn by the Urals, it's certainly more effective as an actual camouflage pattern.
 

Otokar Cobra I IMVs of the State Border Service on parade just outside of Ashgabat, September 2021.

Most of Turkmenistan's IMVs are equipped with a remote weapon station (RWS), and this also happens to be the case for the Cobra I fleet. In fact, a Cobra I fitted with a regular heavy machine gun cupola has only been sighted once in Turkmenistan. This consisted of a 12.7mm M2 HMG with a gunshield added, which however only provides meagre protection against incoming fire from the front. It appears plausible that this was a local modification, with most of the Cobra fleet armed with an Israeli IMI Wave 300 RWS fitted with a 12.7mm NSV RWS.
 

Note the Israeli IMI Wave 300 RWS.

Although the Otokar Ural's most plausible use in service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs would be crowd control, it can also act as a fast transport for up to seven police officers. The Cobra similarly seats up to seven border guards in addition to the driver and commander. Both vehicle types come with rear doors to allow fast embarkation and disembarkation when needed. The Cobra also has an additional side door and top hatch for use by the passengers, greatly increasing the opportunities of escape when the vehicle has been hit or is on fire.

Unlike most other IMVs in Turkmen service, both the Ural and Cobra feature protection of their windows against the impact of rocks or other debris that could otherwise damage the windscreen and obscure the view of the driver. When dealing with an enemy armed with conventional weaponry, the armour protection of both vehicle types is sufficient to protect its occupants against small arms fire, artillery shrapnel and to a limited degree against anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines and IEDs. [2] [3]


Otokar has achieved significant success with its infantry mobility vehicles in Turkmenistan and other countries across the globe. The country currently seems poised to further increase the capabilities of its armed forces through the introduction of new arms and equipment. Perhaps this could one day see the introduction of more Otokar products. Currently operating a large fleet of BTR-80 APCs and BMP-2 IFVs inherited from the Soviet Union, Otokar is certain to one day offer its Arma APCs/IFVs and Tulpar IFVs to act as their replacements.

The Otokar Cobra II (left) and Otokar Arma 8x8 IFV (right).

 
Special thanks to Sonny Butterworth.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Most know about Turkey's rise to a global drone power. Not nearly as well known is that the precision-guided munitions carried by Turkish drones are being introduced just as swiftly as the drones carrying them. This meanwhile consists of an expansive arsenal of guided munitions cleared for use on several types of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) and combat aircraft. The latter includes the upcoming the Hürjet jet trainer and TF-X stealth fighter. The fact that all of these munitions adhere to NATO standards for munitions means that countries can easily integrate Turkish-produced munitions on their own aircraft, which might be precisely what ensures their commercial success.