As reported by Hürriyet Daily News, the prototype of Türkiye’s unmanned fighter aircraft, Bayraktar Kizielma, has been showcased at Teknofest, Türkiye’s largest aerospace and technology festival taking place in Samsun province until September 4 at Çarşamba Airport, attracting great attention despite ongoing design and development efforts.
The Baykar Bayraktar Kızılelma is an under-development aircraft, jet-powered, single-engine, low-observable, supersonic, carrier-capable unmanned fighter aircraft, currently in development by Turkish defense company Baykar. The aircraft is being developed as part of Project MIUS (Turkish: Muharip İnsansız Uçak Sistemi – English: Combatant Unmanned Aircraft System).
Baykar CTO Selçuk Bayraktar said that the Kızılelma is expected to fly in 2023, adding that a jet-powered UAV was “a 12-year-long dream”. Indeed, the first conceptual studies for Bayraktar MIUS started in 2013. The most important development regarding the project took place on 20 July 2021. On this date, the first design images and information about the characteristics of the aircraft were shared with the public.
AI-322F Turbofan Engine Supply Agreement and AI-25TLT Turbofan Engine Integration Agreement were signed between Baykar and Ukrainian Ivchenko-Progress at the SahaExpo event on November 11, 2021. While the first prototypes will go at subsonic speeds using AI-25TLT engines, the next prototypes are expected to be supersonic with AI-322F engines.
The Kızılelma is featuring a low-RCS supersonic airframe and is equipped with an AESA radar. The yaw control is achieved with two vertical stabilizers. The aircraft has coupled-canard controls for increased maneuverability, or for better controlling the main wing airflow. Internal compartments will allow the aircraft to operate in contested environments while sustaining low observability. Its flight range is 930 kilometers, while the operating altitude was declared as 10,668 meters 10,000 ft). It can operate in the air for five hours and has a maximum speed of 900 km/h. The Kızılelma has a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 6,000 kg, with 1,500 kg of said weight available for the payload.
The aircraft is designed in a way that makes it capable of takeoff and landing on an amphibious assault ship, such as TCG Anadolu, without any need for a catapult system
The first flight of Kızılelma is expected to take place in 2023, according to Selçuk Bayraktar, the company’s chief technology officer.
Notice that Bayraktar TB2 has received orders or requests for information from 24 countries. Besides that, Bayraktar Akıncı, which is capable of conducting operations that are performed with fighter jets, will be exported to four countries.