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ALPAR to be showcased at world's leading defence industry fairs

20 June 2024 22:23 (UTC+04:00)
ALPAR to be showcased at world's leading defence industry fairs

By News Centre

Otokar, one of the leading military land vehicle manufacturers in the Turkish defence industry, will exhibit a number of its products at Eurosatory, one of Europe's largest and the world's leading defence industry fairs, which starts tomorrow in Paris. In this context, the heavy-class unmanned ground vehicle ALPAR will be introduced abroad for the first time. What is ALPAR, and what are its features?

ALPAR, Turkiye's first heavy class unmanned land vehicle, has a maximum loaded weight of 15 tons and operates completely silently thanks to its serial hybrid electric drive infrastructure. Otokar has conducted a series of engineering and qualification tests for ALPAR, which was first introduced last year. These tests focused on vehicle autonomy and remote control, with ongoing development and testing in these areas.

As a result of these studies, ALPAR, with its advanced driving controls and algorithms, has gained capabilities such as patrolling from point A to point B, following the vehicle in front, and performing 2D and 3D mapping for autonomy. Further development activities of these functions are continuing. ALPAR will remain open to development in terms of autonomy and driving support, with Otokar continuously increasing the vehicle's autonomy levels based on technological advancements.

Testing its Strength on Road and Off-Road

In addition to these developments, mobility tests of ALPAR, which features a serial hybrid power infrastructure, continue in both road and off-road environments. These tests include evaluating high-voltage battery efficiency, power consumption, vehicle range, and optimising electric motor efficiencies.

Development activities are also ongoing for the Remote Control Unit, which controls the vehicle, to facilitate user control, enhance effectiveness, and increase situational awareness.

With ALPAR, Otokar aims to offer the most advanced innovative solutions to the Turkish defence industry by closely following technological innovations.

The Future Points to Unmanned Systems

Various studies are being conducted on the use of unmanned vehicles for military purposes in countries with advanced defence industries and modern armies.

Vehicles like ALPAR around the world are not yet fully operational, with development activities ongoing at both company and military levels. However, autonomous systems are expected to become a significant part of the battlefield in the future.

While the battlefield always presents conditions requiring human decision-making, making it unlikely for autonomous systems to completely replace humans, vehicles like ALPAR offer significant advantages in protecting personnel during dangerous missions. These systems are expected to be widely used to safeguard soldiers in high-risk or uncertain missions, such as those involving CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) threats.

It is anticipated that unmanned systems, equipped with artificial intelligence, will minimise human error and become prominent in routine tasks such as patrol and surveillance. Autonomous systems are expected to function as "wing tanks" in tank teams in the distant future.

Capabilities and Applications of ALPAR

ALPAR was developed considering all these needs and the latest technological advancements on the battlefield. It can perform various mission capabilities for reconnaissance, surveillance, or combat due to its modular electronic infrastructure designed to address different mission needs. ALPAR combines capabilities such as autonomous and remote command, low thermal and acoustic signatures, vehicle tracking, and mobility agility comparable to light tanks and similar vehicles in the field.

Thanks to its electric propulsion infrastructure, ALPAR can operate as a main element or a supporting element alongside manned vehicles and/or infantry. It can carry unmanned aerial and ground forces for tasks such as obstacle detection in hazardous areas, surveillance and reconnaissance in urban environments, and route discovery in changing terrain conditions.

ALPAR can undertake responsibilities such as suppressing enemy/terrorist positions with fire, neutralising enemy vehicles and facilities with main weapons or guided missiles while minimising personnel risk, serving as a fire support element, and conducting reconnaissance and surveillance duties. It can perform autonomous tasks such as transporting mini unmanned land vehicles and drones, target detection, and logistics support activities.

ALPAR also stands out as a suitable platform for missions such as loitering ammunition carrier, autonomous supply, anti-UAV, and electronic warfare.

Recognises Friend/Enemy and Returns Home

Within its autonomous and remote-controlled driving capabilities, ALPAR offers 360-degree situational awareness, can operate up to 5 kilometers with MIMO radio, and provides effective, advanced remote control and connection capabilities through satellite communication.

ALPAR, which can determine routes using a local map in environments without a Global Positioning System, offers services such as navigating a given route, patrolling, following the vehicle or personnel in front, performing convoy duties, communicating with other unmanned elements, returning home, 2D and 3D LIDAR mapping, obstacle detection, new route determination, friend/foe recognition, and swarm management.

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