Turkey has launched its first Armed Unmanned Surface Vehicle (AUSV) programme, ULAQ. The first prototype is going to be the first platform of the “ULAQ” line and it will be launched in December 20202.
This was announced at a joint conference by ARES Shipyard and METEKSAN Defence on 28 October.
ULAQ has been built from advanced composites, has 400 km range, 65 km/h speed, day/night vision capabilities, encrypted communication infrastructure, which can be operated from mobile vehicles and headquarters or from sea platforms such as aircraft carriers or frigates, will be used for missions like intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, surface warfare, asymmetric warfare, escort missions, strategic infrastructure protection.
ARES Shipyard and Meteksan Defence have reportedly said that other USVs for the operations will be ready to manufacture after the first prototype vessel. These USVs to follow will be capable of carrying out operations like surveillance and intelligence, mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, firefighting, as well as search and rescue missions.
First AUSV’s missile systems are inclusive of 4 cells of Cirit and 2 of L-UMTAS, supplied by ROKETSAN, Turkey's national missile systems provider. The firing tests are planned for the first quarter of 2021.
Along with the missile systems, AUSV will be equipped with different variations of communication and intelligence systems like jamming and electronic warfare systems to correspond to diverse operational needs. AUSV will be able to carry out joint operations with complementary forces such as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), AUAVs (Armed Unmanned Surface Vehicles), and TUAVs (Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles). Furthermore, AUSV is not only a remotely controlled vehicle but also and more importantly an autonomous vehicle that hosts artificial intelligence.