08/05/2024 12:19 PM

By Mohd Haikal Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's acquisition of three ANKA Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Systems (MALE UAS) from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), signed last year, is advancing smoothly and scheduled for delivery within the agreed timeframe.

Turkiye's deputy defence minister Dr Celal Sami Tüfekçi told Bernama that there will be no delay in the delivery date of ANKA MALE UAS to Malaysia, which will be operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

“I don’t know the exact date but it will be delivered. It is now in the process of some (installation) special requirement from Malaysia as well as training for the (Malaysian) personnel,” said Tüfekçi during the interview held on the sidelines of the Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security (NatSec) Asia 2024 exhibition, here today.

Previous news reports stated that Malaysia was expected to receive the ANKA MALE UAS drones next year.

Malaysia is the first country in the region to employ the battle-proven ANKA MALE UAS drone after the Defence Ministry and TAI inked a contract to procure the system and its support equipment in May last year during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition. 

The Ministry of Defence advertised an international tender to acquire three MALE UAS, along with all related systems such as ground stations and other equipment, in August 2020.

An additional three MALE UAS systems will be acquired under the 13th Malaysia Plan (2026-2030).

Malaysia reportedly planned to deploy its Turkish-made drones at a strategic air base on the island of Labuan, to facilitate the monitoring of any breach of its waters in the South China Sea.

 Former Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan stressed the importance of equipping the country with comprehensive surveillance capabilities, stating the necessity for "eyes to see and ears to hear" everything unfolding within its waters, particularly in the South China Sea.

Malaysia is believed to have opted for the Anka-S variant which can fly for 24 to 30 hours non-stop, at an altitude of 30,000 feet and carry a payload of between 250-350 kilogrammes.

Besides performing Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance tasks, the Anka-S drones are also capable of carrying four MAM Smart Micro guided missiles developed by another Turkish defence company, Roketsan, for ground strike missions.

The MAM-guided missiles also come in several variants: MAM-L (thermobaric), MAM-C (high explosive), and MAM-T (long-range attack).

The Anka-S drones are also equipped with an electro-optic/infrared camera for capturing high-resolution images and videos in all weather conditions, an Identification Friend or Foe system, a laser target designator, and a laser range finder.

It is further equipped with a high-powered ViaSat VR-18C airborne satellite communications (SATCOM) antenna, providing safe beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communication. 


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