Turkish unmanned jet Kızılelma, drone Akıncı conduct formation flight
April 25, 2023, 9 p.m.
Bayraktar Kızılelma and the Akıncı UCAV conduct a formation flight, Tekirdağ, Türkiye, April 24, 2023. (Courtesy of Baykar)
Türkiye's homegrown unmanned fighter aircraft, Bayraktar Kızılelma, has achieved another milestone in its flight test campaign.
According to a statement by the developing company, Baykar, the campaign is progressing as planned.
During the ninth and 10th flight tests at the Akıncı Flight Training and Test Center in the Çorlu district of northwestern Tekirdağ province, Bayraktar Kızılelma, the country's first unmanned fighter jet, successfully conducted a formation flight with Baykar's Bayraktar Akıncı unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV).
This marks the first time that two unmanned aerial vehicles have flown together in formation.
The Bayraktar Kızılelma project, which has successfully produced two prototypes, is currently in the development and production phase. As part of the TEKNOFEST 2023 event, the public will have the opportunity to see the aircraft at Atatürk Airport from April 27 to May 1.
Baykar plans to begin mass production of the national unmanned warplane by 2024.
Flight from TCG Anadolu
On April 10, the inventory acceptance ceremony of the Turkish Navy's flagship, the TCG Anadolu, the world's first UCAV ship, was held, where Bayraktar Kızılelma and Bayraktar TB3 UCAV were presented on the flight deck.
The second prototype of Bayraktar Kızılelma Unmanned Fighter Aircraft was showcased at the event, with flight tests planned to commence from the TCG Anadolu in 2025.
On April 17, the TCG Anadolu ship and Bayraktar Kızılelma and Bayraktar TB3 were opened for public visitation at Istanbul Sarayburnu Port. Tens of thousands of people visited the boat and had the opportunity to observe the aircraft on the flight deck.
In 2021, Baykar launched the Bayraktar Kızılema Project, fully funded by its equity capital. On Nov. 14, 2022, Bayraktar Kızılelma, with the tail number TC-ÖZB was transferred to the Akıncı Flight Training and Test Center in Çorlu. Following successful ground testing, the aircraft made its maiden flight on Dec. 14, 2022.
Bayraktar Kızılelma took to the skies in a record time of just one year. Recently, the aircraft achieved a major milestone by conducting eight flights, including four flights between April 18-20. During these flights, the plane underwent successful system identification and maneuvering tests at high speeds with its landing gear retracted.
Bayraktar Kızılelma reached a speed of 630 kph (390 mph) in these tests.
The Bayraktar Kızılelma unmanned fighter aircraft is designed to conduct air-to-air combat missions with the assistance of artificial intelligence and air-to-ground missions. The aircraft's low radar cross-section will give Türkiye a significant advantage in low visibility.
Additionally, the aircraft's unique ability to take off and land on ships with short runways will revolutionize the battlefield, allowing for increased flexibility and operational capability.
Bayraktar Kızılelma, which has a take-off weight of 8.5 tons and a payload capacity of 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds), will also have high situational awareness with the national AESA radar. As a result, unmanned aircraft, which will use all nationally developed ammunition, can operate with intelligent fleet autonomy.
Baykar has begun 2023 with a significant export contract for its Bayraktar TB2, valued at $370 million (TL 7.19 million), after outcompeting American, European and Chinese competitors in a rigorous selection process conducted by Kuwait's Ministry of Defense.
Since the inception of the UAV R&D process in 2003, Baykar has generated 75% of its revenue from exports. In 2021, it became the leading exporter in the defense and aerospace industry, according to the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) data.
In 2022, Baykar achieved an export rate of 99.3% and exported $1.18 billion (TL 22.91 billion) worth of products, establishing itself as the top exporter in the defense and aerospace industry with a turnover of $1.4 billion.
To date, Baykar has signed export agreements with 28 countries for its Bayraktar TB2 UCAV and six countries for its Bayraktar Akıncı, further cementing its position as a leading innovator and exporter in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Source: Daily Sabah