Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) is considered as Turkey’s most renowned security unit due to the nature of its secrecy and complex operations in and outside of of the country.
In this article, we will examine the platforms that the Turkish Intelligence has recently obtained through an open source investigation.
The National Intelligence Agency celebrated its 95th anniversary in the recent weeks. January 6, 1927 is accepted as the foundation year of MIT, which has been named in many different ways throughout history.
With the law no. 2937 dated January 1, 1984, MIT was directly connected to the Prime Minister and with the amendment made in 2017, it was connected to the Turkish Presidency and the Turkish President. MIT currently operates under the formal name of “Presidency of the Presidential National Intelligence Organization” (MIT).
SIGINT, IMINT and COMINT Capabilities
Technology has always been of high importance in the structuring of the Turkish Intelligence, which has accomplished many critical tasks with the intelligence it obtained from the field and the operations it carried out as a result of this intelligence. MIT, which currently has 6 different presidencies in its structure, uses high-tech devices, especially through the ‘Signal Intelligence Directorate’ and ‘Electronic Technical Intelligence Presidency’.
MIT has been increasing its Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) and Image Intelligence (IMINT) capabilities with the ‘platform level’ equipment that it has recently added and plans to add to its inventory.
SIGINT, which enables monitoring and locating enemy communications, helps ensure the security of the forces by supporting tactical maneuvers in the theater. SIGINT is a cluster that includes Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Communications Intelligence (COMINT).
Turkish Defence Products Serve the Turkish Intelligence
Working in close cooperation with the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), the Turkish Intelligence has procured a significant amount of Turkish defense industry products in the last few years. Few of them can be found available through open sources.
TUSAŞ ANKA-I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, TCG UFUK (A591) Intelligence Vessel, Bayraktar TB2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, AKINCI Assault UAV and MULTI-INT Multi-Function Special Mission Aircraft can be given as examples. In addition to these, it is estimated that different land platforms are also purchased by the MIT.
ANKA-I is an ANKA UAV configuration developed by TAI in accordance with the requirements of the National Intelligence Organization. ANKA-I UAV is equipped with payloads suitable for Electronic (ELINT) and Communications (COMINT) Intelligence, that is, Signal Intelligence (SIGINT). ANKA-I can also perform image intelligence (IMINT) through its electro-optical system.
It is not known how many ANKA-I UAVs are in the inventory of the Turkish Intelligence.
Bayraktar TB2 UAV, which is currently in the inventory of the Turkish Land Forces, Turkish Naval Forces, Gendarmerie General Command and the General Directorate of Security, was also acquired by the National Intelligence Organization, according to open source data.
Bayraktar TB2 UAVs belonging to the Turkish Intelligence are known to have achieved significant success, especially in Libya. Bayraktar TB2 UAVs in the inventory of the Turkish Intelligence use Roketsan munitions such as MAM-L and MAM-C. It is not known how many Bayraktar TB2 UAVs are in the Turkish Intelligence’s inventory.
AKINCI Attack Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (AUAV) was developed by Baykar Defense. At the end of 2020, it was reflected in the open sources that Turkish Intelligence has also supplied AKINCI UAVs.
The configuration of the AKINCI UAVs obtained by the Turkish Intelligence is not known. AKINCI UAVs with high payload capacity can be used in attack missions, which are their main development purposes, as well as in SIGINT activities.
It is not known how many AKINCI UAVs the organization has procured.
TCG UFUK Intelligence Gathering Vessel
TCG UFUK (A-591), produced under the main contractor of STM within the scope of the Test and Training Ship Project initiated by the Presidency of Defense Industries, was put into use with a ceremony held on January 14, 2022.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the ceremony held at the Istanbul Maritime Shipyard for the launch of the Test and Training Ship TCG UFUK.
President Erdogan stated that the National Intelligence Organization, which is past its 95th anniversary, has made significant contributions to national security with its services in the fight against terrorism and foreign intelligence.
“The intelligence ship that we will put into service is a new and important opportunity for our organization. I believe that our power will increase in the seas as well as in the land and air, thanks to this ship, which has the most modern equipment that only a few intelligence agencies in the world have,” the President said.
It is evaluated that TCG UFUK will be operated jointly by the Turkish Naval Forces Command and the Turkish Intelligence.
Based on the needs of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Signal Intelligence Directorate, MULTI-INT Multi-Function Special Duty Aircraft Project, initiated by the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), continues under the main contractor of ASELSAN.
Within the scope of the project, it is aimed to supply two Bombardier Challenger 600 aircraft equipped with payloads for signal intelligence (SIGINT) and image intelligence (IMINT) missions.
What Comes Next?
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in his speech during the inauguration ceremony of TCG UFUK, emphasized that the next platform target of the Turkish Intelligence is a spy satellite.
Emphasizing that the next goal of the organization is to take its place in space through satellite intelligence and to use all these elements in the most effective way, President Erdoğan said: “We are proud of the achievements of our organization, which adapts rapidly to innovations and shares its knowledge with all relevant institutions, many of which are not seen, unknown or revealed. As we have done so far, we will support our organization in every field in the upcoming period, and we will make it contribute more to our struggle to build a great and strong Turkiye. I would like to thank everyone who contributed and contributed to the commissioning of our UFUK ship, which we brought to our organization, once again.”
In summary, the Turkish Intelligence has been carrying out many successful operations in the field. The organization has been increasing its intelligence capacity day by day through the platforms it procures and maintains through the Turkish defence industry.