Turkey has exported STM TOGAN unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Uganda, marking the second time that these UAVs have been sold to an African country.
In August, STM revealed that it is negotiating with more than one country for new exports in TOGAN, has reached the contract stage with other countries in Africa. After the agreements are signed, STM will announce these sales.
At the time, STM explained that the TOGAN UAVs have successfully passed the acceptance tests by the user authority, have entered the inventory of this African country. It is now clear that the countries involved are Nigeria and Uganda.
TOGAN, which is the surveillance and reconnaissance member of STM’s tactical mini-UAV family, was developed with the company’s own resources in line with the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces in the field. TOGAN was introduced for the first time at the International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF 2017) in 2017.
The UAV, which has its own flight control system and mission planning software, can be the eye of kamikaze UAVs such as KARGU thanks to its target acquisition systems.
A single TOGAN platform can serve for 45 minutes at a range of 10 kilometers. TOGAN provides effective operation day and night with its day and infrared image systems with 30x optical zoom level. Thanks to its unique autopilot and computer vision software, the platform can autonomously track moving targets.
STM, exhibited its naval platforms and Togan, Alpagu, and Kargu tactical UAV systems at the recent IMDEC 2023 exhibition in Ghana. At the event, STM said it was engaged in collaborations, technology transfer and business development activities in more than 20 countries, from South America to the Far East.
For Uganda, the Togan will join other more larger drones in the country’s inventory including RQ-11 Raven, Orbiter II, AAI Aerosonde Mk4.7, and Hermes 900.
Uganda’s military operates mostly surveillance drones to monitor its vast borders with Kenya to the east, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and the south by Tanzania.
Last year, Uganda increased its defence spending to better cope with the current security realities in East Africa. The new funding will help the country step up to it’s neighbor and regional rival Kenya, as widespread conflict and terrorism threat in East Africa is influencing both countries spending, and pushing them to an arms race.
In 2020, AAI Corp., a subsidiary of Textron Systems, Hunt Valley, Maryland, was awarded a contract to supply the Aerosonde Mk4.7 unmanned aerial system to both Nigeria and Uganda.
Uganda was slated to receive two units of the drone, while Nigeria received three of the type.
Moving forward, two years later, it was revealed that the Ugandan military is fielding at least two dozen Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Kochav (Star) medium-altitude long-endurance surveillance drones.
The Hermes 900 drone was seen in a video shared on 24 February by Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the commander of Uganda’s land forces and the president’s son.
Uganda has bought other UAVs, including several RQ-11Bs from the United States for use in Somalia. It also reportedly placed an order for the Aeronautics Orbiter II UAV in 2011.
One RQ-11B Raven was lost in a crash in August 2011, another one crashed in February of that same year.