Afleet of Türkiye’s homegrown kamikaze sea drones successfully struck a target in a sea trial featuring a joint operation with the country’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Developed by a pioneering defense contractor, Aselsan, a swarm of Albatros-S unmanned surface vessels (USVs) consisting of eight kamikaze sea drones engaged in a test targeting a 22-meter (72.18-foot) ship off the coast of Mersin province in the Eastern Mediterranean, the statement said.
Detected by the famed Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle, the target ship sank within minutes after being approached and hit by one of the USVs equipped with a warhead produced by another top local defense manufacturer, Roketsan.
“For the first time in the world, a swarm attack was carried out with the USV-UAV joint operation,” the Defense Ministry said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
Albatros-S is a USV system boasting a high level of autonomy, capable of navigating and performing tasks in swarm formation independent of central control.
The Defense Ministry said meticulous precautions were taken to minimize the environmental impact during the sea trial. Prior to the test, the target ship underwent thorough cleaning procedures to remove pollutants such as fuel and oil.
The approximately 7-meter-long USV features a speed of over 40 knots, a cruising range of over 200 nautical miles, and a significant payload capacity.
Herd AUSVs will be capable of pursuing their missions against various obstacles with capabilities such as a domestic communication system, control system, multi-communication system architecture, and a global navigation satellite system (GNSS).
The drones also have the ability to perform duties in a non-communication environment.
Unveiling a new dimension in the maritime landscape, they will offer important operational capabilities in safeguarding Türkiye’s surrounding seas, collectively dubbed the “Blue Homeland.”
The AUSVs will add to the security and protection of the country’s maritime continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with features such as autonomous navigation in swarms, autonomous formation change and autonomous mission execution.