Turkey’s First Indigenous Unmanned Fighter Aircraft Carries Out Autonomous Taxi Tests



The brand new Kizilelma drone throughout its floor exams. (Picture credit score: Baykar)

The Bayraktar Kizilelma drone has efficiently accomplished the primary autonomous taxi and take-off roll take a look at.

Baykar, the Turkish aerospace firm that produces the Bayraktar TB2 Unmanned Aerial Combat Vehicles which have performed a starring function each within the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War and in the Ukrainian war, has began the primary floor exams of its new Kizilelma drone. The exams have been carried out on the Akinci Flight Coaching and Take a look at Middle within the northwestern province of Tekirdağ’s Çorlu district, the place the drone, “Turkey’s first unmanned fighter plane developed nationally”, efficiently accomplished the primary autonomous taxi and take-off roll take a look at forward of a maiden flight anticipated subsequent 12 months.

The primary floor exams have been directed by Selçuk Bayraktar, Baykar’s chief know-how officer, who posted some attention-grabbing footage of the Kizilelma on Nov. 20, 2022.

The brand new drone is attention-grabbing for a number of causes. The obvious one is the form, that instantly reminds the one of many Chinese language Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon stealth fighter plane with delta wing, canards and canted vertical stabilizers.

One other view of the Kizilelma planeform.

On this respect, based on Baykar, the brand new drone will mix LO (Low Observability) and aggressive maneuvering functionality, making it in a position to perform a wide selection of missions presently undertaken by manned fighter plane.

Based on Baykar, the Kizilelma Fighter UAV will be capable to take off and land on short-runway plane carriers too: the plan might be to function drones from the Turkish Navy’s Anadolu amphibious assault ship, that’s geared up with a “ski jump“. Nevertheless, a big evaluate of the touchdown gear can be required to function the drone from small-deck plane carriers, because the one of many first prototype seems to be too “skinny” to maintain the impacts of arrested landings.

One other space the place enhancements might want to focus is the ability plant one: in contrast to China’s J-20, the Kizilelma can be geared up with a single engine. Whereas we already know the drone will get a different turbofan moving forward, the Fighter UAV we now have seen enterprise floor exams within the footage circulated on-line to this point options an uncovered exhaust nozzle that’s definitively not stealthy and can want a repair eventually.

That being stated, based on Baykar, the Kizilelma can have a 500 NM fight radius, 35,000 toes operational altitude, a 5 hours endurance, a 0.6 Mach cruise velocity with a high velocity in extra of Mach 1. Different attention-grabbing figures are the MTOW (Most Take-Off Weight) of 6 Tons and 1.5 Tons of payload capability. It will likely be geared up with an AESA radar and can be capable to carry home air-to-air missiles in addition to air-to-ground PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions).

A number of the options of the Kizilelma drone. (Picture credit score: Baykar)

It’s not clear whether or not the Kizilelma will act as a Loyal Wingman (i.e. managed from one other plane appearing as “mothership” in a manned-unmanned teaming state of affairs) or be extra autonomous in its mission. No matter, following the notoriety acquired on the sphere due to the successes of the TB2, the event of a brand new extremely maneuverable stealthy fighter UAV consolidate Turkey’s place because the rising drone energy within the worldwide enviornment.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and skim army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and lots of others, overlaying aviation, protection, warfare, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with completely different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Drive, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Pc Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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