Turkish unmanned fighter jet, Bayraktar Kizilelma, completed its third test, the medium altitude system identification test. The indigenous aircraft reached an altitude of 20,000 feet during the trial. Their tests on the aircraft will continue and that they plan to start mass production by the beginning of 2024. Baykar are also gearing up for the maiden flight of Bayraktar TB3, the world’s first drone capable of taking off and landing on ships with short runways. Both the drone Bayraktar TB3 and Bayraktar Kizilelma will be showcased at the major technology event Teknofest, which will be held this year in Istanbul from April 27 to May 1.
The Baykar Bayraktar Kizilelma (English: Red Apple) is a single-engine, low-observable, carrier-capable, jet-powered unmanned combat aerial vehicle, currently in development by Turkish defence company Baykar. The aircraft is being developed as part of Project MIUS (Turkish: Muharip Insansiz Ucak Sistemi; English: Combatant Unmanned Aircraft System). The first version of Bayraktar Kizilelma (Kizilelma-A) is subsonic, however both future versions of Bayraktar Kizilelma (Kizilelma-B and Kizilelma-C) will be supersonic, the latter having twin engine configuration.
Having completed its maiden flight in December last year, the fast drone fighter jet, Kizilelma, marks a significant expansion of capabilities for slow-moving reconnaissance and missile-carrying drones. It will be capable of taking off from and landing on short-runway aircraft carriers, including Türkiye’s flagship-to-be landing helicopter dock (LHD) type amphibious assault ship Anadolu. The autonomously maneuvering Kizilelma will be capable of operating in tandem with piloted aircraft. Specifically designed to engage air targets with domestic air-to-air ammunition, the platform is expected to have a significant impact on the battlefield.
The uncrewed fighter jet is projected to conduct a multitude of military actions, such as strategic offensives, close air support (CAS), missile offensives, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) and destruction of enemy air defenses (DEAD). With a take-off weight of 6 tons and an impressive payload capacity of 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds), it will be equipped with nationally developed ammunition. Kizilelma is set to carry out air-to-air combat with its aggressive maneuvers and advanced capabilities, setting it apart from other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).