Turkey’s uncrewed fighter jet Kızılelma (“Red Apple”) carried out its maiden flight Wednesday.
“Our 20-year dream in our national drone adventure has come true today! Bayraktar Kizilelma, Turkey’s first unmanned warplane, made its first flight,” Baykar’s chief technology officer (CTO) Selçuk Bayraktar shared on Twitter.
National Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle System (MIUS) or Kızılelma features low detectability and hypersonic speed. Kızılelma represents a significant expansion of capabilities for slow-moving reconnaissance and missile-carrying drones.
It will be capable of taking off from and landing on short-runway aircraft carriers, including Turkey’s flagship-to-be amphibious assault ship TCG Anadolu.
The company said that the autonomously maneuvering Kızılelma will be capable of operating in tandem with piloted aircraft and may carry air-to-air missiles.
The uncrewed fighter jet is projected to conduct a multitude of military actions, such as strategic offensives, close air support (CAS), missile offensives, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) and destruction of enemy air defenses (DEAD).
It is projected to be capable of flying for five hours and reaching speeds of up to 800 kph (500 mph or Mach 0.64).