Turkey acquires machine gun-toting octocopters with anti-recoil systems
Turkey is preparing to receive its first shipment of armed multicopter drones this month, according to New Scientist. Made by the country's own Asisguard, the Songar drone can carry 200 rounds of 5.56 x 45 mm NATO class ammo, and can hit a 15-cm-square (6-inch-square) target from 200 m (650 ft) away with single shots, 15-bullet bursts or a full auto unloading.
The 25-kg (55-lb) drones use a four-armed carbon body design with two coaxially mounted large props on each arm. The automatic machine gun beneath rests in a tilting mount, allowing a remote operator to aim it using controls that would be familiar to anyone who's used the camera on a DJI Phantom.
It carries sufficient battery and powerful enough communications to fly 10 km (6.2 mi) on a mission, it's GPS and GLONASS stabilized, and it offers twin camera operation for a pilot and gunner if required.
Where camera drones carry gimbals to stabilize vision, this thing has an automatic shooting stabilization system to cancel out recoil and keep the gun on target as it fires, while a camera streams back footage of the target for damage evaluation. The whole thing looks eerily like a video game.
It's certainly not on the tech or expense level of many of the unmanned drones that the United States rolls out on a daily basis – but then, that's kind of the point. Armed quads like the Songar require fairly basic technology, and yet they can still put bulk holes in things from unexpected angles, far enough away that a target might never even be aware they're in the air. Very difficult to defend against.
Check out a video of the Songar in action below.
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(NATO is going through stage 3 (or so) of its relationship breakdown).