National funded and operating in the defence industry, Antalya-based ARES Shipyard and Ankara-based Meteksan Defence, as a result of research and development activities that have been conducted for a few years, in the field of unmanned maritime vehicles (UMV) have accomplished to make the first armored unmanned surface vehicle. The Armed Unmanned Surface Vehicle’s (AUSV) prototype production will be completed in December and it will be the first platform of “ULAQ”.
Produced with advanced composite material, AUSV has 400 kilometers cruising range, 65 kilometers per hour speed, day/night vision capability, national encrypted communication infrastructure and, it can be used from the land by mobile vehicles and headquarters command center or floating platforms by aircraft carriers and frigates, in missions such as Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Intelligence, Surface Warfare (SW), Asymmetrical War, Armed Escort, and Force Protection, Strategic Facility Security.
The prototype boat’s design process and structural production were completed in August, and it is planned to be launched in December 2020, following the outfitting activities. The firing tests of the first AUSV will be carried out in the first quarter of 2021 with 4 Cirit and 2 L-UMTAS missile systems provided by the national missile systems manufacturer Roketsan.
AUSV can be equipped with different types of payloads such as electronic warfare, jamming, and various communication and intelligence systems, as well as missile systems to meet different operational needs. Moreover, it will be able to operate with other AUSVs with a similar or different structure and have joint operation capabilities with UAVs, armed drones, offensive drones, and manned aircraft. Furthermore, AUSV will not only be a remotely controlled unmanned maritime vehicle but also will be equipped with superior and cutting edge capabilities thanks to artificial intelligence and autonomous behavior features.
It was stated that unmanned maritime vehicles for intelligence gathering, mine hunting, submarine defence warfare, firefighting, and humanitarian aid/evacuation will be ready for production after the prototype AUSV, which is the first phase of the project initiated by ARES Shipyard and Meteksan Defence in the field of unmanned maritime vehicles.
In the joint press release made on October 28, 2020, ARES Shipyard General Manager Utku Alanç said: “As a result of the labor-intensive studies and investments we made to make this dream come true, our pride and happiness in launching the first unmanned national combat vessel in the field of Unmanned Maritime Vehicles (UMV) is indescribable. We have achieved this success and pride, as always, by keeping our national interests at the forefront and completely with our equity investments. We present the Armed Unmanned Surface Vehicle (AUSV) Project, the production of which will be completed in December, as the first platform of the “ULAQ” series to the great Turkish nation. In our ancient Turkish culture, ULAQ is the name given to the state ambassadors of Central Asia who represent the state in every field and amaze them with all their capabilities. ULAQs have come to the fore with their combativeness as well as their intelligence and experience. The Unmanned Maritime Vehicles we have developed are also true to their name in this sense. ”
Meteksan Defence General Manager Selçuk Alparslan stated: “With the developments that have emerged in recent years, we understand once again how essential it is to defend the blue homeland of our country, which is surrounded by the sea on three sides, our maritime continental shelf and exclusive economic zone. As Meteksan Defence, we are very proud to use the technical knowledge we have gained in the field of communication and sensor systems for many years in unmanned maritime vehicles and to present Turkey’s first Armed Unmanned Surface Vehicle with ARES Shipyard. I would like to state that we favor the maximum domestic contribution rate while designing critical electronic systems to be located on this platform and that we fully consider the operational needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. May ULAQ bring good luck to our country, the blue homeland, and our armed forces. ”