Turkey’s Fighter-Like Bayraktar Kizilelma Drone Emerges For Taxi Tests

Turkish firm Baykar has begun ground tests of its Bayraktar Kizilelma drone, described as the country’s first unmanned fighter aircraft. Accompanying imagery of the tests, at the Akinci Flight Training and Test Center in the northwestern province of Tekirdag, which included taxi runs ahead of its first flight. The Kizilelma — meaning Red Apple in Turkish — has been developed by Baykar, which is responsible for the Bayraktar TB2 that has seen notable combat success in the hands of Azerbaijan and Ukraine, as well as the larger Bayraktar Akinci. The Kizilelma, however, is claimed to be supersonic and has a degree of stealth characteristics. It is designed for the kinds of air combat missions typically undertaken by manned fighter jets. Powered by a single Ukrainian-designed Ivchenko-Progress turbofan engine, the Kizilelma has a canard-delta configuration, of the kind seen on some other reduced-observable combat aircraft designs, including China’s J-20 manned fighter and Dark Sword drone. The use of canards is a tradeoff between low observability and maneuverability, although some measures can be taken to limit their impact on radar signature. The tail surfaces consist of canted vertical stabilizers. Story and photos courtesy of Thedrive.com/the-war-zone.

Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with sourcing this report, the background for which appeared in their  # 22 - 18 - 9 DECEMBER 2022 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).

David distributes the USN, a free, comprehensive newsletter in PDF format every week or two, as well as serial news flashes, from which this NREF news update was sourced. To be included in his distribution, simply send a subscribe request to davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com.