Akıncı UCAV Aids in Locating Raisi's Crashed Helicopter

Akıncı UCAV Aids in Locating Raisi’s Crashed Helicopter

Media outlets around the world have highlighted the crucial role played by Turkey’s pioneering Bayraktar Akıncı unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) in finding the crash site of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter. Footage obtained by the Akıncı drone during its surveillance mission was eagerly followed by millions globally as they awaited any sign of life from the crashed helicopter. Major news organizations like CNN, the Associated Press (AP), CBC News, and Bloomberg all reported on the Akıncı’s discovery of the wreckage site.

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European Outlets Praise “Turkish Aid”

European media was also focused on the Turkish drone’s contribution. Italy’s Corriere Della Sera ran a headline praising the “Turkish aid” that “revealed the limits of the Iranian regime’s capabilities.” The newspaper noted the Akıncı, whose name refers to Ottoman raiders, flew over seven hours from a base in Batman province searching for the chopper. Greek outlet EPT News shared Akıncı video footage while Dutch broadcaster NOS and British media like The Guardian, Sky News, BBC and The Telegraph all covered the drone’s role in locating Raisi’s helicopter.

Akıncı Showcases Turkish Aerospace Prowess

Asian outlets like China’s Xinhua, CGTN, Japan’s NHK and South Korea’s KBS also reported on the Akıncı’s involvement, highlighting how Iran had to rely on Turkish assistance to find its own president and officials in a mountainous region despite its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

Cutting-Edge Drone’s Capabilities

The Akıncı UCAV conducted 7.5 hours of search operations, scanning difficult terrain while flying 2,100 km despite poor weather. A high-altitude long endurance (HALE) drone added to the Turkish arsenal in 2021, Akıncı has two turboprop engines, 5,500 kg maximum takeoff weight, and 1,350 kg payload capacity. One of just three countries producing this drone class, Turkey’s Akıncı can also engage in air-to-air combat, fly 24 hours at 40,000 feet altitude with a 20-meter wingspan.

Pivotal Role Highlights Capabilities Gap

The Turkish-made drone proved invaluable in swiftly pinpointing the location of Raisi’s crashed chopper after a long night of fruitless searching by Iranian teams. Its success highlighted Turkey’s indigenous defense capabilities while exposing gaps in Iran’s military technology despite its nuclear ambitions. After the Akıncı found the wreckage site, rescuers recovered the bodies of Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and others killed when their helicopter went down Sunday in poor weather in northwest Iran.

Global Coverage Boosts Akıncı’s Reputation

The prominent international coverage underscored the Akıncı’s reputation after its crucial role in this high-stakes search and rescue operation for Iran’s leadership. The drone’s performance burnished Turkey’s aerospace engineering prowess on the global stage.

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