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The Turkish armed forces will soon receive 20 UKAP remote-controlled weapon platforms following the successful completion of testing by manufacturer Katmerciler.

Displaying the UKAP in Europe for the first at the Eurosatory 2018 exhibition, company representatives revealed that the 20 UKAPs ordered by the Turkish armed forces were due to be delivered in batches in the coming weeks.

This follows the completion of live fire testing, including firing while on the move, and the launch of serial production of the remote-controlled weapon platform.

Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) confirmed in February that ‘20+ unmanned ground vehicles’ would be deployed to Afin, Syria as part of Operation Olive Branch. This will be the first time the UKAP has been used operationally.

A Katmerciler spokesman told Shephard the UKAP had obvious advantages over large MRAPs or APCs during urban operations.

‘For urban operations where there is the constant threat of snipers, the UKAP is perfect as it is smaller than an APC and it can be remotely operated helping to keep the soldiers safe,’ the spokesman said.

Once this initial order of 20 UKAP systems is delivered to the Turkish armed forces over the next two months, Katmerciler is preparing to ramp up production with the spokesman arguing that any future requirement from Ankara could be significantly larger.

The UKAP is fitted with the Aselsan Stabilized Advanced Remote Weapon Platform (SARP), which integrates a 12.7mm machine gun with an EO suite comprising a thermal camera, day TV camera and laser rangefinder.

Providing automatic target detection and tracking capabilities, day and night imaging and fire-on-the-move capability, the SARP system can hold 400 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition.

The UKAP also features a hybrid engine and can be controlled for up to 10km in line-of-sight, although testing to date has only validated control from as far as 5km. The UGV can be operated for five hours on battery or 18 hours on generator.

With a kerb weight of 1900kg, the UGV can take a total payload of 2000kg – allowing the UKAP to be configured for a variety of missions – while the tracks are made of rubber coated alloy steel.

The UKAP can be supplied with control monitors featuring two different sizes of touchscreen LCD panels – a portable remote control kit with 25cm panel or a larger monitor with 53cm panel.