On July 20, Turkey’s Baykar Defense company introduced the MIUS Project, an autonomous combat aircraft, by releasing concept design images via Twitter.
A Turkish drone maker Baykar will combine its skillset in advanced technology weapons, autonomous systems with Ukrainian-made jet engines to develop new unmanned combat aircraft.
The most notable feature of the images is that the MIUS takes off from Turkey’s future Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) “Anadolu.” This was unexpected because MIUS had never previously been declared to be deployed aboard a naval asset.
The company also has released an official rendering of its future unmanned fighter jet, which shows new combat drones during sorties from TCG Anadolu, Turkey’s first amphibious assault ship.
This new aircraft reportedly will work at an altitude of at least 40,000 feet with a weapon payload of 1,5 tons (able to carry air-to-air missiles, high load precision bombs, cruise missiles) and fly at 1,4 Mach speeds. MİUS will be equipped with AI 25 turbofan engine developed by the Ukrainian Ivchenko Progress company.
It will be able to conduct operations on its own with AI features and fly with the existing F-16s and later the 5th gen.
The Chief Technology Officer of Baykar Co., Selcuk Bayraktar confirmed that the MIUS will be operated on LHD Anadolu.
“MIUS will operate at a cruising speed close to the speed of sound; the further prototypes will fly at the supersonic speed. It will have a payload of around 1500 kilograms. It will be able to deploy air-to-air, air-to-ground missiles and cruise missiles.”
“Unlike other prototypes developed in this field in the world, the most important aspect is that it can land and take off from carriers. MIUS will be able to land and take off from short-runway carriers like LHD Anadolu. It will be able to take off without the help of a catapult and land on the ship with a hook system.” Selcuk Bayraktar highlighted.
The Turkish Navy expects to commission LHD Anadolu in 2022. MIUS’s prototype is set to take to the skies for the first time in 2023. Despite the fact that MIUS and TB-3 are intended to operate together on Anadolu, it seems like that Turkey’s LHD will only deploy TB-3 drones as fixed-wing air assets in the first years of her service.
After the U.S. removed Turkey from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Project due to Turkey’s S-400 air-defense system procurement from Russia, the Turkish Defence Industry has been working to provide fixed-winged aircraft capability to its future LHD.
MIUS is the third air asset declared to operate onboard Anadolu. After the first announcement to deploy TB-3 drones on Anadolu, Turkish Aerospace Industries promulgated their work to deploy indigenous jet trainer aircraft “HURJET” on the LHD.