Bayraktar Kizilelma: Turkiye’s First Unmanned Fighter JetWed, Dec 28, 2022, 12:41:47 AM
Türkiye’s first unmanned fighter jet which is named Bayraktar Kızılelma conducted its first test flight on the December 14th. Kızılelma is the latest product of the Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar Tech and it is expected to be the air force backbone of the Turkish Navy’s future flaghship LHD Anadolu.
The First Flight
Selçuk Bayraktar who is the chief of technology at Baykar announced the first flight of the Kızılelma with a video on Twitter. The test flight took place at Çorlu Airport in Tekirdağ and flew for 18 minutes and landed at the same airport. The first flight was initially planned for 2023 but was brought forward.
Selçuk Bayraktar shared the video saying “Today marks the first flight of Bayraktar #KIZILELMA, our unmanned fighter jet” He also said; “Our country has stepped into the domain of unmanned fighter aircraft, which is ushering the future of air warfare.”
Baykar Tech announced the unmanned fighter jet project in the summer of 2021 and it was spotted in assembly line in March of 2022. Its first engine integration test was conducted in September 2022 and it completed taxi test at slow speeds and roll test at takeoff as a part of its ground tests. On the 3rd of December, the unmanned fighter jet conducted a jump test which the aircrafts landing gear lifted off the runway for a few seconds. The jet moved from prototype to its first flight within ten months.
Future of Unmanned Vehicles
Kızılelma is a private project Baykar has been working over a decade and according to the company, it will have a 6 tons of maximum takeoff weight which includes 1.5 tons of ordnance and will be able to fly at 35-40 thousand feet in the air. The flight speed of the initial prototype will range from 0.6 to 0.9 mph. Kızılelma will be able to stay in the air for up to 5 hours and will be controlled by satellite via SATCOM antenna. Baykar stated that it is powered by AI-322F turbofan engines from Ukraine’s Ivchencko Progress company and will have AESA radars.