Ares Shipyard and Meteksan Defence Industry have launched and started sea trials for Turkey’s first indigenous armed unmanned surface vehicle (AUSV).
The two companies started the program in October 2020 which resulted in the launching of the ULAQ AUSV prototype vessel.
In the joint press release, CEO of Ares Shipyard Utku Alanç and general manager of Meteksan Defence Selçuk K. Alparslan stated: “In the field of unmanned surface vehicles, we would like to proudly announce that we have launched the first AUSV of ULAQ series and have initiated the intensive sea trials period.
“From now on, our next short-term target is to complete the sea trials successfully and carry out the guided-missile firing tests. Since the very first announcement of ULAQ unmanned systems, we have encountered significant interest from our country and our allies.
“This interest and support has given us a great incentive to design and build unique, state-of-the-art solutions. On this wise, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Turkish Ministry of National Defense, The Presidency of Defense Industries, and Turkish Naval Forces and all our citizens who have provided full support since the very first launch of ULAQ program“.
As for the ULAQ, it has been built from advanced composites, has 400 kilometres range, 65 km/h speed, day/night vision capabilities, and encrypted communication infrastructure.
The vessel can be operated from mobile vehicles and headquarters or sea platforms such as aircraft carriers or frigates, will be used for missions like intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, surface warfare, asymmetric warfare, escort missions, and strategic infrastructure protection.
The prototype AUSV’s missile systems are inclusive of four cells of Cirit and two of L-UMTAS, supplied by Turkish missile systems provider Roketsan, where the firing tests are planned at the end of the first quarter of 2021.
AUSV will be able to carry out joint operations with complementary forces such as UAV’s, AUAV’s, and TUAV’s. Furthermore, AUSV is not only a remotely controlled vehicle but also, and more importantly an autonomous vehicle that hosts artificial intelligence.
Ares and Meteksan stated that, after the prototype vessel, other USVs for the operations like surveillance and intelligence, mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, fire-fighting, search and rescue missions would be ready to manufacture accordingly.