SINKEX: Turkiye Demonstrates Swarm Of Kamikaze USV Capabilities
The test firing was conducted off the coast of Mersin in the East Mediterranean. Within the context of the test (with live warhead), a swarm of Albatros-S USVs consisting of 8 vessels started to attack a 22-meter ship detected by TB-2 Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). After detecting the target, the control station directed the USV swarm to the ship.
After the final approach, one of the Albatros-S USVs specially fitted with a warhead for the purpose of the test proceeded to the target and hit it. After the explosion, the target sank in minutes.
The test was watched by the Turkish Navy commander, along with the Chief of the Turkish Defence Agency and CEO of Aselsan from the Turkish Naval Headquarters in Ankara. This test demonstrated the KUSV swarm kamikaze attack concept for the first time in the world with a USV-UAV joint operation.
Albatros-S is an unmanned surface vessel swarm system with a high level of autonomy, capable of navigating and performing tasks in swarm formation independent of central control. Albatros-S is capable of performing different swarm formations and has the ability to continue its mission against the decrease in the swarm by avoiding swarm elements and moving or stationary obstacles.
Aselsan unveiled the SWARM USV project for the first time during the IDEF 2021 exhibition held in Istanbul in August 2021 and showcased a scale model of its Albatros-S USV. SWARM USV is a technology acquisition project and can be performed not only with Albatros-S USVs but also with other USVs being developed in Turkey.
After uneviling the USV in IDEF 2021, Aselsan conducted two demonstrations of this swarm USV technology in 2022 with 4 and 8 USVs.
- Width : 2 m
- Length : 7.2 m
- Weight : 1955 kg
- Max. Speed : ≥ 40 kts
- Endurance : ≥ 10 hrs
- Drive System : Diesel Engine
- Payload Capacity : ≥ 250 kgs
While for the test, the existing Albatros-S USV were used, Aselsan is actively working on a kamikaze variant of this drone: At IDEF 2023 held in Istanbul in July, Aselsan was showcasing a new variant of the Albatros USV dubbed “Albatros Kamikaze”, the kamikaze variant of the Albatros USV family.
According to Aselsan, the “Albatros Kamikaze” which is currently under development (and not the USV tested recently) has a 200 kg warhead capacity. It is capable of solo or swarm kamikaze attacks. It can reach speeds in excess of 40 knots and features low radar and IR signature making it difficult to detect and intercept.
The new KUSV has a length of 7.2 meters and a weight of 2200 kilograms. It’s powered by diesel engines and has an endurance exceeding 10 hours.
The Albatros Kamikaze features a small radar cross-section, decreased IR signature, and high maneuverability to increase survivability until impact with the target. It can be controlled via EW-resistant RF communication and SATCOM.
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