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Safety of Turkish UAVs fortified with Türksat satellite control

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Türkiye’s national unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be able to be controlled with Türksat satellites, starting with Türksat 5B, according to a senior official, who also said it would no longer be possible to intervene in the control of these devices from outside.

“We will be able to keep UAVs under control all over the world with all Türksat satellites, especially Türksat 5B. These will be able to communicate uninterruptedly with extended range and coverage,” Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abulkadir Uraloğlu said in a written statement on Monday, emphasizing they would remain safe thanks to satellites.

“It will no longer be possible to intervene in the control of our UAVs from outside,” he added.

Uraloğlu stated that unmanned aerial vehicles, which were initially used only for military and surveillance purposes, have begun to find a place for themselves in engineering applications, scientific studies and civilian areas with the developing technology in recent years.

Providing information that control of indigenously developed UAVs, as well as all other UAVs that require satellite communication capability is now provided through Türksat satellites, Uraloğlu underscored that satellite communication “is emerging as a game-changing element in UAV operations.”

“The control of UAVs, especially those operating abroad, has become safer with Türksat satellites. Satellite communications provide secure and encrypted channels for data transmission, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access or interference,” the minister noted.

“With Türksat satellites, our UAVs will be able to fly safely all over the world,” he said.

Moreover, Uraloğlu recalled that Türkiye’s satellite data capacity surged by over 17 times following the deployment of the fifth-generation communication satellite, Türksat 5B.

Highlighting Türksat’s emergence as one of the operators boasting robust satellite infrastructure in the region, he further said: “Given the evolving technology landscape, Türksat satellites have witnessed a substantial expansion in utility. They now offer enhanced range and coverage for UAV operations.”

“Unlike the previously used traditional communication methods relying on LOS (line of sight) or limited terrestrial networks, satellite communication provides uninterrupted communication even in remote and inaccessible areas,” he noted.

“Thanks to the wide coverage areas of Türksat satellites, UAV missions become easier in challenging terrains and across borders.”

Uraloğlu also highlighted that Türksat satellites enhance the capabilities of the nation’s unmanned aerial vehicles to operate in regions such as Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

“Our satellites enable uninterrupted and reliable operational activities to be carried out efficiently. Through Türksat satellites, our UAVs can utilize a wide frequency band for high-speed data, voice and image transmission,” he concluded.

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