Turkish Aerospace Industries has released further details on its indigenous medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air vehicle project, which will now deliver two variants to meet the operational requirements of the Turkish armed forces.

Being developed under a December 2004 contract, the Tiha-A will have a 1,300kg (2,870lb) maximum take-off weight and is expected to make its first flight during 2009. The aircraft will have a 17.3m (56.7ft) wingspan and a 200kg payload capacity, enabling it to carry electro-optical/infrared, synthetic aperture radar and inverse SAR sensors.

The Turkish air force is interested in fielding a new Tiha-B design which will have a 20m wingspan and a 3,500kg maximum take-off weight, including a 500kg payload. Both variants are expected to offer a 24h endurance operating at altitudes up to 30,000ft, with development work due to conclude in 2010.

TAI awarded local firm Savronik a contract during the IDEF show to develop the MALE system's tactical datalink, and also exhibited its 85kg Gozcu tactical UAV, which conducted its first flight during April.

Turkish Engine Industries has meanwhile produced its first UAV engine, and expects to fly the 30hp (22kW) TJ-1X with TAI's Turna target drone during October.

Source: Flight International