Turkey’s Baykar signed a contract with Ukrainian firm Ivchenko-Progress for the delivery of AI-322F Turbofan engines its Combat Unmanned Aircraft System (MIUS) project.
The deal was signed between the parties at the SAHA EXPO Defense and Aviation Hybrid Fair organized by SAHA Istanbul.
MUIS will be jet-powered, with a payload of up to 1.5 tons. The autonomously maneuvering craft will be capable of operating in tandem with piloted aircraft and may carry air-to-air missiles. The MIUS is expected to make its maiden flight before 2023.
Baykar-produced Akıncı combat drone is powered by the AI-450 engine of Ivchenko Progress.
The Turkish company announced Friday that the MS500 Turboprop Engine Technical Specification Agreement for Bayraktar Akıncı with the Motor Sich, another Ukrainian engine-making giant was also signed at the fair.
Baykar's top boss Haluk Bayraktar said that they created an alternative for Akıncı with the MS500 engine and that the engine would be integrated into the vehicle. Stating that the MS500 is a technologically advanced engine like the AI-450, Bayraktar said that this engine will fly Akıncı next year.
Citing Ukrainian sources, Daily Sabah reported that the country will supply an AI-450 Turboprop engine for Akıncı UAV and AI-25TLT Turbofan engine for MIUS from 2021 to 2030. In the 10-year period, Ukraine is expected to export more than 500 engines to Baykar with a total value of more than $600 million.