Turkey test fires Alpagu drone
A new locally-made Turkish drone called the Alpagu successfully carried out its first test-firing, Hürriyet Daily News reported on Saturday.
According to a statement issued by Turkey’s Defence Industries Authority, the “Alpagu hit its target with full accuracy in the test firing carried out at the Aksaray Shooting Range.”
“After launching,” the statement added, “Alpagu, which flew for about 10 minutes, followed the target through image tracking software. Undetected until the last moment, Alpagu destroyed its target with the ammunition on it.”
The fixed-wing lightweight Alpagu drone is developed by the Turkish defence company STM.
The Alpagu is a loitering munition (also known as a kamikaze or ‘suicide’ drone). According to its manufacturer STM the drone “is designed for both reconnaissance and surveillance and for striking targets outside the line of sight with high accuracy, can be carried by a single soldier, and can operate autonomously or with remote control.”
The drone weighs less than 2 kilograms (4.5 pounds) but can carry a substantial amount of explosives. The manufacturer touts its artificial intelligence, image processing capabilities, diving speed, low radar cross-section, and its purported ability to strike high-value targets with pinpoint accuracy.