ANKARA, Turkey — A two-company partnership developed “the world’s first unmanned surface vessel with electronic warfare capabilities,” according to Turkey’s top procurement official, Ismail Demir.
“After the SİHAs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles), which have proven to be game changers on the field, Turkey is now asserting its claim with its SİDAs (unmanned surface vessels, or USVs),” he said in a tweet. “Marlin SİDA became the first unmanned surface vehicle with electronic warfare capabilities.”
Demir tweeted and shared a maneuver video of the watercraft on the sea. The Marlin SIDA was developed by a partnership between Aselsan, Turkey’s biggest defense company and Sefine, a privately owned shipyard.
With a length of 15 meters (49 feet), the Marlin SİDA can participate in surface warfare, underwater warfare, electronic warfare and asymmetrical operations. Industry sources say the Marlin SİDA, which can be used more flexibly than gunboats, is the first in the world with its warfare systems.
The Marlin SİDA is planned to be used in naval warfare operations for off-shore and open sea defensive and offensive missions.
In 2021, Aselsan and Sefine held a “steel-cutting event” for an anti-submarine warfare drone dubbed NB57. They also held a ceremony for the first welding of an anti-surface warfare variant, the RD09.
Sefine began the USV work in 2019 in cooperation with the Presidency of Defence Industries, Turkey’s defense procurement agency. Aselsan joined the program in 2021.
Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.