ARES Shipyard and METEKSAN Defence, which had initiated Turkey’s first indigenousArmed Unmanned Surface Vehicle (AUSV) program in October 2020, announced that theprototype vessel, ULAQ AUSV has been launched and sea trials have been started.
In the joint press release, Utku Alanç, Chief Executive Officer of ARES Shipyard, andSelçuk K. Alparslan, General Manager of METEKSAN Defence, stated: “In the field ofUnmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs); we would like to proudly announce that we havelaunched the first Armed Unmanned Surface Vehicle of ULAQ series, and have initiatedthe intensive sea trials period. From now on, our next short term target is to completethe sea trials successfully and carry out the guided missile firing tests. Since the veryfirst announcement of ULAQ Unmanned Systems, we have encountered significantinterest from our country and our allies.”
“This interest and support has given us greatincentive to design and build unique, state-of-the-art solutions. On this wise, we wouldlike to express our sincere gratitude to Turkish Ministry of National Defense, ThePresidency of Defense Industries and Turkish Naval Forces and all our citizens who haveprovided full support since the very first launch of ULAQ program,” they added.
ULAQ has been built from advanced composites, has 400 km range, 65 km/h speed,day/night vision capabilities, encrypted communication infrastructure, which can beoperated from mobile vehicles and headquarters or from sea platforms such as aircraftcarriers or frigates, will be used for missions like intelligence, surveillance,reconnaissance, surface warfare, asymmetric warfare, escort missions, strategicinfrastructure protection.
The prototype AUSV’s missile systems are inclusive of 4 cells of Cirit and 2 of L-UMTAS,supplied by Turkish missile systems provider Roketsan, where the firing tests are plannedin the end of Q1-2021.
Along with the missile systems, AUSV will be equipped with different variations ofcommunication and intelligence systems like jamming and electronic warfare systems tocorrespond diverse operational needs. AUSV will be able to carry out joint operations withcomplementary forces such as UAV’s, AUAV’s and TUAV’s. Furthermore, AUSV is not onlya remotely controlled vehicle but also and more importantly an autonomous vehicle thathosts artificial intelligence.
ARES Shipyard and METEKSAN Defence stated that after the first prototypevessel, other USVs for the operations like surveillance and intelligence, mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, fire-fighting, search and rescue missions, will beready to manufacture accordingly.
Comprising five production facilities located in the Antalya Free Zone, ARES Shipyard hasbuilt more than 100 vessels in various classes and lengths. ARES Shipyard fulfills varioustypes of military and commercial marine platform needs with its young and dynamicteam, customer-oriented approach and Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) system.
At the heart of ARES Shipyard’s success are its willingness to partner with leading designand equipment providers around the world to produce best-in-class vessel designs,use latest technology and highly-trained personnel to ensure superior build quality,and to fully engage with clients at all stages to meet their needs.
ARES Shipyard has become one of the largest composite andaluminum boat builders in Europe, awarded the titles of World’s Best Patrol Boat Builder,Turkey’s fastest-growing company and its largest exporter of military and commercialvessels.
METEKSAN Defence Industry Inc. was established in 2006 in order to combine andcoordinate the projects and activities of the high technology companies operating withinthe body of Bilkent Holding for the defense industry on a single roof. The establishmentpurpose of the company is to develop and produce independent and unique high-techproducts and subsystems for the Turkish Armed Forces and other security forces in linewith the vision of The Presidency of Defense Industries.
METEKSAN Defence, which operates in six fields (Radar Systems, PerimeterSurveillance Systems, Laser and Electro-Optic Systems, Communication Systems,Underwater Acoustic Systems and Platform Simulators) takes part in critical platformprojects such as domestic ships, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, development ofanti-tank missile launching systems and air defense missile systems.
The main products developed by METEKSAN Defence are radar for helicoptersand UAVs, surveillance radars, altimeters, data links of tactical and strategic missilesystems, sonar systems, underwater early warning and communication systems andtraining simulators.