It looked entirely like any other business takeover between the Chinese and Germans with no relevance to Turkey. But the news that a Chinese group had acquired the troubled German maker of aircraft engines means Turkey must now find a new engine supplier for its first indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Anka.
Turkish officials and the Anka team are now worried that Chinese group Avic International’s acquisition of Thielert, a bankrupt German maker of diesel engines for aircraft may further delay the Anka which would otherwise have been powered by Thielert’s Centurion engine.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) which develops the Anka had ordered the Centurion for a batch of 10 aircraft. Now TAI must look elsewhere to find a new engine to power the Anka.
The ANKA is a medium-altitude long-endurance MALE-category drone. Such UAVs usually operate for 24 hours at an altitude of 10,000 feet.
ANKA, meaning Phoenix in English, is the first MALE-type UAV to be produced by TAI. One of the prototypes crashed during a test flight in September but several other flight tests have been carried out successfully.
ANKA+, another version of the ANKA, calls for an armed vehicle, using a rocket attached to its body and sensors.