TurkeyTurkey’s newest armed drone makes debut at Dubai Airshow ::
After less than a year of development, a new extended-wing, armed version of the Karayel UAV by Turkey-based Vestel Defence Industry made its international debut among the static displays at this week’s Dubai Airshow.
With a 13-meter wingspan and an endurance of eight hours when fully armed with a 120- kilogram payload, the Karayel-SU is the latest in a family of UAVs built by Vestel for the Turkish Armed Forces and the export market.
“We are focusing our marketing efforts on the Middle East and Africa region, and we are beginning efforts to secure our first export customer,” Oner Tekin, Vestel’s general manager, told Defense News.
Vestel executives said the armed and unarmed shorter-winged (10.5-meter wingspan) versions of the automated takeoff and landing Karayel UAV have flown a total of some 3,000 hours, primarily through a power-by-the-hour-type leasing arrangement with the Turkish Armed Forces. The extended-wing version is not part of that agreement.
Without weaponry, the new extended-wing aircraft carries a 50-kilogram day/night sensor in its fuselage bay and is designed to fly for a constant 20 hours at altitudes reaching 18,000 feet.
“We have a contract to give them services, and were proud that our aircrafts have flown more than 3,000 flight hours without incident,” Tekin said of the earlier-model unarmed Karayel and lightly armed Karayel-S.