Many countries have small-sized self-propelled vehicles capable of throwing grenades at targets or firing explosives at them. Unfortunately, such drone is also used by extremist organizations.
Now, Turkey is on the verge of becoming the first country to have military drones equipped with machine guns. It is a 25kg flying vehicle that uses eight propellers to fly. It is called ‘SONGAR’ and can fire single shots or 15-round bursts and carry a total of 200 rounds of ammunition.
The drone was developed by ASISGUARD, a company specializing in military technology, based in Ankara, and is first to carry such equipment. It is said that their drones will use a laser system to provide a high level of accuracy.
The placement of weapons on small drones is avoided both because it is very difficult for the pilot to make accurate shots and because after each shot, the vehicle destabilizes and loses its target. To overcome this problem, the SONGAR team developed two systems. One uses sensors, cameras, and lasers with which the drone never misses the target. The second system consists of robotic arms that hold the machine gun so that when operating, it does not cause disturbance to the drone and changes position, thus losing the target each time.
This automatic shooting stabilized armed drone is claimed to be able to travel up to 9.5 km at an altitude of up to 2.7 km above the ground. The machine gun can fire NATO class 5.56 x 45mm bullets. According to a report in New Scientist, this drone will be able to hit targets as small as six inches from distances of up to 650 feet (200 meters).
SONGAR armed drone can be flown in groups of up to three, all of which can be operated by a single controller. There is also GPS for navigation, while the vision system can operate day or night.