ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Anka, an unmanned aerial vehicle designed by Turkish Aerospace Industries, completed its debut flight mission.
The medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV flew out of an airport in Elazig, the country's eastern province, to conduct a four-hour exploration and observation flight, reaching an altitude of 19,000 feet. Turkish defense officials say the vehicle was developed to support their country's fight against terrorism.
"We are currently doing a very critical thing, struggling against terror," said Turkish Deputy Defense Minister Suay Alpay. "Our struggle will continue with determination until the last terrorist leaves this country and the weapons are taken from [them]. All elements of the defense industry will support and strengthen this struggle."
Work on Anka, which translates to "Phoenix" in English, began in 2004. Turkish Aerospace Industries was given the contract to supply ten of the vehicles and their supporting ground stations in 2013. The UAV is the company's first indigenous aerospace design.
The vehicle is designed to operate under all weather conditions, and provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services. It features onboard data recording, a fixed or moving target tracking capability, 24-hour endurance, and can be expanded with SATCOM, SIGINT, and communications relay.