Turkey Unveils Machine-Gun Support Drone

17th Dec 2019

Source Credit to by MAX SLOWIK on DECEMBER 12, 2019

The Songar drone system is shown here with a machine gun and a grenade launcher. (Photo: Asisguard/New Scientist)

Turkish firm Asisguard is showing off the latest iteration of their Songar military drone. The Songar is a troop-support drone equipped with a machine gun and possibly a grenade launcher.

While the concept of small military drones is not entirely new, nor is weaponizing them, the Songar is reportedly the first drone equipped with a machine gun ready for service. According to the New Scientist, Asisguard expects to deliver the first units to military and security forces before the end of this year.

Loaded the drone weighs about 55 pounds and it has a current targeting range of just over 200 yards. At those distances the drone is capable of hitting 6-inch targets reliably, and Asisguard expects to extend the targeting range well beyond 400 yards.

Currently, the Songar drone can fire single shots and 15-round bursts, but it does lose some stability in rapid-fire. This can be worked around with additional development.

In the base configuration the Songar does not come equipped with a grenade launcher. (Photo: Asisguard)

The Songar uses cameras and laser rangefinders to get on and stay on target. Using information from the cameras and lasers the drone can stabilize itself midair as well as control the recoil using a set of arms that mount the machine gun.

The cameras are capable of night vision and the drone has an effective range of just over six miles. One controller can be used to fly up to three drones simultaneously as a swarm.

As a single unit or as a swarm, the Songar system can fire on select targets individually or put covering fire over an area from above. In this way, the Songar can be used to support soldiers on the ground or operate independently if necessary.

According to Robert Bunker at the US Army’s Strategic Studies Institute in Pennsylvania, drones pose a major security concern. As commercial technology improves, Bunker says militant groups may be able to copy these designs and improvise combat drones of their own.

In addition to the Songar, Asisguard is working on the Salgur, a flying “micro-strike” drone that carries a smaller limited- or single-use weapon system that’s capable of reconnaissance. Asisguard also works on vehicle networking systems and more conventional security systems.