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Turkiye develops new “game-changing” unmanned surface vehicle (USV)

7 July 2022 15:11 (UTC+04:00)
Turkiye develops new “game-changing” unmanned surface vehicle (USV)

By News Center

The Turkish Defense Industry Agency is working on a new "game-changing" unmanned surface vehicle (USV) project that will take the country to the top in the sector, Yeni Shafak daily reports.

MIR, dubbed as Admiral of domestic and national USVs, will be one of the platforms that, with its technological characteristics and military capabilities, will change the game. As Turkiye's new major protagonist in the production of unmanned sea vehicles, MIR has led the country to the top in this industry.

Although Turkiye has produced both armed and unarmed unmanned naval vehicles recently, MIR USV differs from them in terms of its capabilities. Experts made remarkable statements about the technical features and warfare capabilities of MIR USV.

TRT Haber claims that employing USVs of diverse concepts in a flock is a capability that only a few nations around the globe possess. In fact, this is one of the reasons why the Defense Industries Agency usually concentrates on this initiative. The 'herd USV' strategy, implemented as a defense industry project, not only propels Turkiye to the champions’ league in this sector but also grants the nation the privilege of playing at the top of the league.

Cigdem Sen Ozer, ASELSAN Unmanned Land, and Surface Vehicles Program Manager, stated that Turkiye was already able to use the same type of USV platforms in droves prior to MIR, reminding their quadruple mission with ALBATROS USVs of the same type that was performed recently. She added that the platforms in question are seven meters long, however, MIR USV is 15 meters long and far more sophisticated.

"Thus, for the first time in our country, we were able to use unmanned surface vehicles with different mission structures in the same activity. This is a very important breaking point," she stressed.

Underlining ASELSAN's competence in this sphere, Ozer emphasized the extremely high level of autonomy of the platforms in question.

To put it differently, ALBATROS and MIR USV can share tasks 'with a common mind' by cooperating to fulfill the given duties effectively. Even if they come across an obstruction, the platforms, which are in continual contact with each other and with the center, loop around and travel directly to their targets after overcoming them. Alternatively, if contact is lost during the assignment, it can employ autonomous driving and artificial intelligence skills to successfully perform the task assigned to it, she added.

According to Ozer, the KIRLANGIC camera is one of ASELSAN's exceptionally high technology items used at the MIR USV platform. The USV's environmental awareness is enhanced by the high-resolution image-capable camera.

While mentioning the products developed by ASELSAN, Ozer opens a separate parenthesis for the communication capabilities of the platform. Currently, it is very valuable that defense industry products work in environments with electronic jamming, she said, adding that MIR USV is well-equipped in this regard as well.

"In addition, MIR USV has a Karetta system developed by ASELSAN to receive signals of the correct Global Positioning System under interference. MIR USV also has a unique communication system and has quite different types of communication options, namely, satellite communication and 4G LTE if desired. We have the means of communication via GSM networks, and we have the ability to operate within the borders of Blue Homeland without any communication interruption,” Ozer emphasized.

The MIR USV platform is constructed at the Sefine Shipyard in Yalova province, which is undergoing a significant shift in terms of producing military products in civilian shipyards, with the coordination of Turkish Defense Industry Chief Ismail Demir.

As a result, the workload on military shipyards is decreased, product delivery times are reduced, and civilian shipyards acquire a highly important capacity.

Mustafa Lutfi Civelek, Strategic and Unmanned Systems Manager at the Sefine Shipyard, who is involved in critical projects in the naval forces for many years, said that MIR USV has been designed to be stable and capable of operating on open seas, as well as to be used in very different types of naval warfare.

According to him, the MIR USV is a platform that can be utilized for a variety of missions in areas such as surface warfare, undersea warfare, electronic warfare, mine warfare, and asymmetric warfare.

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