ANKARA ($1=18.61 Turkish Liras) — Certainly, and with moderate steps, Turkey continues to build its image as an industry innovator and one of the world leaders in the production of drones. First, there was Bayraktar TB2 – it appeared unexpectedly and became a threat to Russian weapons in Syria, Libya, and Ukraine. Then came the attack drone Akinci – fast with a record flight height gradually conquering foreign markets. Now it’s the turn of Kızılelma – the supersonic twin-engine unmanned fighter jet.
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Kızılelma is now on the track. A video shared by a Twitter account of Turkish military media shows the drone passing the tests of the so-called “automatic taxi” and movement on the runway. I.e. the drone is brought with a tow truck to the take-off point. Tests passed successfully. Kızılelma’s avionics and systems were tested on the ground. The safety systems of both the aircraft and the operational teams that brought Kızılelma to the runway were tested. I.e. the pre-takeoff procedure was tested.
The Turkish media sammunasanayist.com announced that by the end of this week, or at the beginning of December, the first flight of the unmanned fighter will be a fact.
Baykar company is a producer of Kızılelma. At the beginning of the year, the company announced its existence by presenting the first prototype. A few months later, Baykar presented a second prototype. If the tests pass successfully in the coming months, Baykar is expected to start mass production in mid-2023.
Local experts and fans of the Turkish drone suggest that one of the tests could be in Ukraine, Syria, or Iraq. Turkey is not fighting in Ukraine, but it is fighting in Syria and Iraq, and it is quite possible, even logical, that Kızılelma will be tested in real combat conditions.
The Kızılelma is designed to be a combat platform that can land and take off from short runways. This makes it extremely suitable not only for the Turkish Air Force but also for the Turkish Navy. In the future, perhaps the first carrier of Kızılelma will be the aircraft carrier TCG Anadolu, which is also currently undergoing cruise tests.
This unmanned fighter jet was developed and manufactured with Turkish resources and could become the pride of Ankara if it proves its combat capability and effectiveness in the coming years.
Baykar says that Kızılelma will be aggressive. I.e. will be capable of carrying air-to-air missile combat weapons and will conduct air battles with great maneuverability.
The company has developed a drone with low radar visibility. The unmanned combat aircraft, which will use all domestically developed munitions, will be a large power multiplier with a planned payload capacity of 1,500 kilograms. The unmanned fighter will also have high situational awareness with the AESA radar that will be integrated.
You should know
Here are some of the most important features you need to know about the newest weapon of the Turkish Air Force and Navy.
Kızılelma will be able to communicate with the army’s operations center, or headquarters, both in line of sight and out of the line of sight. In this thread: the drone’s flight ceiling is set between 35,000-45,000 feet, and 500 nautical miles is its operational range.
Cruise speed will be in the range of up to almost Mach 1. In addition to the already mentioned AESA radar, also developed in Turkey, the drone will have an additional payload such as an electro-optical guidance system. Baykar says Kızılelma will have an independent GPS guidance system.
Maximum take-off weight 6 tons, payload 1,500 kg. The drone is 14.7 meters long and 3.3 meters high. Baykar will also develop an ultrasonic version.
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