Erdoğan hails broad youth participation in Türkiye’s largest tech event

ISTANBUL (AA): President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday appreciated the broad participation of young people in Teknofest, the country’s largest aviation, defense and technology event.

“The adoption of a technology event by our youth is truly an intellectual revolution,” Erdoğan said at the event in the Black Sea province of Samsun.

Erdoğan said Teknofest has turned into a “feast” as 600,000 young people from 154,000 teams from Türkiye and 107 different countries competed in 40 different branches.

This year’s Teknofest festival features technology competitions in more than 40 different categories such as semiconductors, drones, satellites, rockets, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Organized by the Turkish Technology Team Foundation (T3 Foundation) and the Industry and Technology Ministry, Teknofest Black Sea kicked off at the Çarşamba Airport.

“Today alone, our unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) proudly represent our country in more than 30 countries worldwide,” Erdoğan said.

About the newly designed national unmanned combat aircraft system named Bayraktar Kızılelma (“Red Apple”), which was exhibited for the first time in Samsun, Erdoğan said it is regarded as a “game-changing move” in military history.

“The reason why we are proud of many technology-based breakthroughs is not our enthusiasm for war, but our obligation to keep our country powerful,” he added.

The National Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle System (MIUS) Kızılelma, produced by drone magnate Baykar is expected to make its maiden flight in 2023.

MUIS will be jet-powered and is expected to be capable of taking off from and landing on Turkey’s flagship-to-be amphibious assault ship TCG Anadolu.

The landing helicopter dock (LHD) type ship is said to be the first of its kind in the world as a vessel that allows the landing of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) on its dock.

Baykar is currently working on the Bayraktar TB3 UCAV, an upgraded version of the company’s famed Bayraktar TB2.

MIUS and TB3 will both extend Turkey’s drone capabilities from land-based to naval operations as they will both be able to take off from TCG Anadolu.

The autonomously maneuvering MIUS will be capable of operating in tandem with piloted aircraft, and may carry air-to-air missiles, the company says.

The unmanned fighter jet is projected to conduct a multitude of military actions, such as strategic offensives, close air support (CAS), missile offensives, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) and destruction of enemy air defenses (DEAD).

The aircraft is set to feature a high operational altitude and takeoff weight of 5,500 kilograms (12,125 pounds). It is envisaged to carry 1.5 tons of useful payload.

It is projected to be capable of flying for five hours and reaching speeds of up to 800 kph (500 mph or Mach 0.64).

The Teknofest Black Sea was visited by some 650,000 people in five days.