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Turkish UAV located crash site of helicopter carrying Iran’s president

A Turkish Bayraktar Akinci high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) was able to locate the crash site of the helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and shared its coordinates with Iranian authorities.

Iranian state television reported that President Raisi’s helicopter experienced a “hard landing” while returning from the inauguration ceremony of a dam on the Iran-Azerbaijan border on Sunday.

Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Malik Rahmeti, the governor of East Azerbaijan Province, and Imam Ayatollah Ali Hashim of Tabriz Province were also on board the helicopter.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry announced late on Sunday that the country would be sending drones and a helicopter equipped with night-vision technology to Iran to assist in the search operation.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said in a statement that Iran had requested a night vision search-and-rescue helicopter from Turkey.

Manufactured by the Turkish defence company Baykar, the Bayraktar Akinci UCAV first entered service with the Turkish Armed Forces in August 2021.

The platform is powered by two turboprop engines and is equipped with dual artificial intelligence avionics which support signal processing, sensor fusion and situational awareness in real-time.

It carries electronic support systems, dual satellite communication systems, air-to-air radar, collision avoidance radar and synthetic aperture radar.

Akinci’s Aselsan Common Aperture Targeting System (CATS) which is the onboard electro-optical reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting system was able to locate the crash site with its thermal imaging sensor.

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