Turkish army adds domestic unmanned ground vehicle Barkan to inventory - M5 Dergi
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Turkish army adds domestic unmanned ground vehicle Barkan to inventory

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The Turkish defense industry achieved a significant milestone as the unmanned land vehicle “Barkan” officially entered the inventory of the country’s security forces.

Developed by Havelsan, this cutting-edge unmanned ground vehicle is set to be showcased at the upcoming 16th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF 2023), scheduled to take place in Istanbul from July 25 to 28.

The exhibition will provide an opportunity for Havelsan to present the latest advancements in unmanned vehicle solutions under the theme of “digital unity.”

Havelsan, renowned for its expertise in training platforms and software solutions for security forces, marks a new era with the inclusion of Barkan as an operational platform in its inventory. Comprising Barkan I and Barkan II, the unmanned vehicles are now available for deployment.

Veysel Ataoğlu, product development and production director at Havelsan, disclosed that the journey toward robotics and autonomous systems began with Barkan I, and they have dedicated approximately 1.5-2 years to conducting extensive field tests.

Responding to valuable user feedback, the development of Barkan II ensued. This newer version exhibits enhanced mobility, nearly doubling its weight capacity and is equipped to carry heavy-class weapons.

Havelsan carried out rigorous tests, incorporating a 12.7-millimeter weapon system, and plans to further explore 40-millimeter grenade launchers, Mete missiles and other missile variants.

Havelsan has garnered international attention by showcasing these unmanned vehicles at various foreign fairs and engaging with influential decision-makers.

Within the scope of IDEF, the company will hold crucial meetings to bolster its export initiatives, closely coordinated with the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB).

Regarding another uncrewed product, Ataoğlu detailed the developments of Baha, which underwent extensive testing for about a year. With continuous improvements and responsiveness to field requirements, Baha has evolved into a sophisticated product that operates independently of GPS, boasting capabilities like autonomous navigation and task completion even in the face of lost communication.

Highlighting Havelsan’s prowess in electronic warfare, Ataoğlu emphasized how Baha and Barkan work cohesively within the “digital unity” framework. In addition, Havelsan is currently working on integrating unmanned products from different companies, including the newest addition to their family, Kapgan, and drones, to expand their range of offerings.

Ataoğlu acknowledged the vital role played by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and subcontractors, such as TEKATRON, SIO HAVACILIK, Hitit Defence, ESETRON, ASISGUARD, REPKON, Dönmezoğlu, CANiK and Unirobotic, in achieving this commendable level of success.

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