Ankara, Turkey – Turkey develops software that can be used in rotating- and fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles. Turkish defense industry, which offers software-based solutions to security forces, has developed software for use with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a herd or swarm concept.

The use of swarm UAVs offers various advantages such as low hardware costs, difficult detection by enemy forces, and asymmetric threats against large platforms.

While many countries have yet to test this technology in a simulated environment, a limited number of countries including Turkey have herd technology and have tested it in the field.

Turkish defense industry worked on the project for 3-4 years and the software can be used in both rotating- and fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles.

Working in integration with the intelligence/image plotting solutions, herd UAVs will strengthen the capabilities of existing intelligence systems by introducing additional capabilities such as discovery, detection, recognition, search and rescue, vehicle tracking, and relay creation.

The solution will pave the way for a UAV herd accompanying helicopters to perform a frontal attack and provide operational support when commands are given from helicopters.

Turkey aims to transfer the software solution to underwater and surface platforms and land vehicles. The vehicles in the herd have a flight time of more than half an hour and a payload capacity of 1 kilogram.

Army of AI-powered swarm UAVs coming

As Turkey continues its testing efforts in artificial intelligence-supported herd UAV technology, herd UAVs, which prepare the future operational environment from today, are expected to take their place soon.

The herd UAV consists of a large number of UAVs that collaborate to perform a specific mission. A herd of UAVs controlled by artificial intelligence can also easily find direction in a non-GPS environment.

The herd UAV system developed in the project capture has features such as location finding, independent autonomous navigation, clarity inference, specific point recognition with deep learning, herd division, image-based distance measurement, target prioritization and mission planning.

With artificial intelligence technology, Turkey’s future Sky army will be established. A herd UAV will hit targets detected using artificial intelligence and deep learning techniques, while in cases where there is no communication, data and images taken from sensors can be processed and location estimation can be done.

Herd UAV will also be able to perform its own operation independently of any communication system with artificial intelligence. The herd UAV concept is currently being maintained with more than 30 unmanned aerial vehicles. That number is expected to find faces over time.

Each of the drones in the swarm can perform different tasks. Swarm drones and artificial intelligence support systems will also change the doctrine of an entire bomber. With this application, the highest level of intelligent bombardment capabilities will be revealed in terms of guided systems. In the event of a loss in drones, the position can be taken without the need for any manual human intervention.

One of the known applications for herd drones today belongs to the US military. In tests conducted in 2017, 100 Microdrones were released into the air from an F-18 fighter jet. Drones the size of palms and weighing half a kilo were observed to be directed at a single target at the same time.

The first mission considered for swarm-moving UAVs is to disable enemy air defense systems. Many drones are expected to launch soon, preparing the future operational environment from today.