A Turkish armed unmanned surface vessel (AUSV) is set to be used in an upcoming NATO exercise, becoming Türkiye’s first such platform to be represented in the alliance’s military drill, local media reported Thursday.
The AUSV MARLIN was produced in cooperation with Sefine Shipyard and leading defense company Aselsan domestically in northwestern Yalova province, under the leadership of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB).
With this product, Türkiye will undertake special tasks in its own classification, such as underwater and surface reconnaissance and surveillance, intelligence, electronic warfare, target detection and identification, and support for amphibious operations in the NATO exercise, according to TRT Haber.
While carrying out all these missions, MARLIN will demonstrate on an international platform that it has the capabilities to work together with manned naval elements.
The platform, approximately 15 meters (49 feet) long, has critical capabilities related to surface warfare, underwater warfare, electronic warfare (EW) and asymmetrical operations. MARLIN, which embodies the capabilities of gunboats, can even be a naval warfare platform that can be used more flexibly than gunboats at some points.
The EW system currently on MARLIN is the first in the world and also the first AUSV to carry EW systems.
It will be able to conduct EW from an unmanned surface platform in a way that cannot be used on a manned platform. Field experts consider this capability a game changer and a very innovative approach.
Considering the other naval warfare capabilities that MARLIN is planned to have on it, it is commented that the AUSV will change naval warfare concepts and doctrines, in a similar success Türkiye has currently achieved with its unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV).
Furthermore, sea-to-sea or sea-to-land versions of Türkiye-developed air-launched Kuzgun ammunition can also be fired from MARLIN during the exercise. Thus, the solid propellant Kuzgun will pass the tests in the next six months.
Kuzgun was developed by the Defense Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE) of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBITAK).
Nearly 100 flying-floating and unmanned diving vehicles will take part in the exercise – called Dynamic Messenger 2022 – which consists of two parts and will be held in Portugal by the end of September. In the first part, experimental and conceptual studies with high research and development (R&D) dimension will be carried out with unmanned vehicles.
The exercise will test the changes that the new generation of warfare capabilities will create in the concept of naval warfare, benefiting from the experiences of the allied countries. The formation of standards on how unmanned platforms will fight with manned warships is ensured through such exercises. That's why all the participants agree that the knowledge gained there will be extremely important.