Foreign media highlight Akıncı UCAV’s role in finding Raisi’s chopper - M5 Dergi
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Foreign media highlight Akıncı UCAV’s role in finding Raisi’s chopper

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Media outlets around the world highlighted the role of Türkiye’s pioneering Bayraktar Akıncı drone in finding the crash site of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter.

Footage obtained by Akıncı during its surveillance was followed by millions of people across the globe, as they eagerly waited for any sign of life from the crashed helicopter.

While U.S.-based CNN reported Akıncı’s discovery of the crash site, the Associated Press (AP) said the Turkish drone footage suggested that the helicopter went down in the mountains northwest Iran.

CBC News shared footage obtained by the Turkish drone, while Bloomberg reported that the Turkish Defense Ministry sent Bayraktar Akıncı on a mission to locate the helicopter upon the request of Iran.

In Europe, Italian media highlighted the role of Akıncı in finding the crash site. The Corriere Della Sera, one of the most-read newspapers in Italy said in a headline: “Turkish aid revealed the limits of Iranian regime’s capabilities.”

It highlighted that Akıncı is a Turkish word for an Ottoman raider who carried out swift reconnaissance and raid missions in the depth of enemy territory, and said the Turkish drone, which took off from an airbase in the southeastern province of Batman flew more than seven hours looking for the chopper.

The Greece-based EPT News channel shared video footage of Akıncı, and also reported that Türkiye sent a search and rescue team and a Cougar helicopter with nightvision capabilities.

The Dutch public broadcaster NOS said a Turkish drone was able to locate the crash site, while British the Guardian and Sky News shared footage of the drone. The BBC, The Telegraph and other British media outlets also reported Akıncı’s role in locating Raisi’s helicopter.

Other media outlets, including China’s Xinhua, CGTN, Japan’s NHK, and South Korea’s KBS News all reported Akıncı’s role in finding the helicopter.

Iranians, who can develop long-range ballistic missiles and a nuclear program, were forced to use Turkish aid to find the president and other officials in a mountainous region of East Azerbaijan province.

The AGI news agency said Iranian search and rescue teams were directed to the crash site only after the Akinci drone located it.

Raisi, the eighth Iranian president since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, served as custodian of the Imam Reza shrine for years before becoming the country’s judiciary chief in 2019 and president in 2021.

After a nightlong search operation hampered by bad weather, Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other top officials were declared dead early Monday.

Dozens of emergency rescue teams were dispatched where the accident occurred Sunday.

Mohammad Mokhber, who is the first vice president, will assume powers of the presidency until new elections are held, according to the Iranian Constitution.

A Bayraktar Akıncı UAV conducted 7.5 hours of search and scanning activities in the region despite the difficult weather conditions and flew a total of 2,100 kilometers (1,305 miles).

A high-altitude long endurance (HALE) class vehicle, Akıncı was added to the arsenal of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in 2021.

The drone boasts two turboprop engines and has a maximum takeoff weight of 5,500 kilograms (12,125 pounds). It has a load capacity of 1,350 kilograms.

Akıncı, which made Türkiye one of the three countries capable of producing this drone class, can also be used in air-to-air combat. It is equipped with dual redundant SATCOM and dual redundant LOS.

It can fly for up to 24 hours and has a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet with a 20-meter (65-foot) wingspan.

The drone, which flew for the first time in December 2019, takes its name from a legendary Ottoman military unit, which literally means “raiders,” who served as reconnaissance and scouting divisions of the Ottoman Army.

It was first used in counterterrorism operations in northern Iraq. On the civilian side, it took part in search and rescue efforts in the aftermath of the February 2023 earthquakes in southeastern Türkiye, assisting crews on the ground for faster damage detection as well. Baykar has signed an agreement with nine countries for the export of Akıncı.

Source: DailySabah

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