UMEX 2024 – Turkish Bayraktar UAVs will receive EDGE precision-guided munitions

Nikolay Novichkov

UMEX 2024 once again confirmed that the Emirates continue to offer locally designed weapons for aviation platforms, including unmanned ones, produced in other countries. At the Abu-Dhabi exhibition EDGE confirmed its plans to integrate weapons of its own production on Turkish reconnaissance and attack drones of the Bayraktar family

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The UAE defence Group intends integrating its guided weapons on UAVs produced by Baykar, which include Bayraktar TB2 and TB3, as well as the Akinci. At UMEX it was unveiled that Desert Sting-16 (DS-16) and Desert Sting-25 (DS-25) precision-guided ammunition produced by Halcon, part of the EDGE Group, had been integrated on the Bayraktar TB3 MALE UAV.

As a Baykar company representative explained to EDR On-Line, “this is the first time that a Turkish drone manufacturer has certified foreign ammunition to be integrated on its platforms.”

The cooperation between EDGE and Baykar is a mutually beneficial solution, as Turkey increases the range of weapons for its unmanned systems, while the UAE open a wider international market.

In addition, the integration of DS-16 and DS-25 ammunition on the Bayraktar TB2/TB3 and Akinci could actually be the first step towards expanding the target-killing capabilities of Turkish drones with other airborne weapons produced by EDGE Group.

In 2022, it was reported that 20 Bayraktar TB2 UAVs had already been delivered to the UAE. The Emirates are negotiating the purchase of another 120 drones with Turkish aircraft weapons and a package of other services worth up to US 2.0 billion.

Recently, EDGE has been quite actively promoting the idea of ​​integrating its weapons onto the platforms of other countries. For example, it is worth noting the cooperation with the American company General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. on the integration of Emirati missile systems on the MQ-9B SkyGuardian UAV offered by the UAE. The Emirati company also proposes to equip French Rafale fighter jets purchased by the UAE with guided bombs. Even though the Emirates will receive the first Rafale from Dassault Aviation only in 2027, work in this direction is already underway.

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The Desert Sting-16 (DS-16) is a high-precision glide munition designed to destroy ground targets with an accuracy of 3 metres at a range of over 15 km when launched from an altitude of more than 9 km. It has a mass of 23 kg, of which 12 kg represent the warhead. Its bigger sister, the Desert Sting-25 (DS-25), has a mass of 47 kg, a 25 kg warhead, and can reach up to 22 km with the same accuracy.

Photos by N. Novichkov