The assembly of the second prototype of the supersonic stealthy Bayraktar Kizilelma UAV has been completed.
This was announced by the CEO of Baykar – Mr. Selcuk Bayraktar. According to the manufacturer, the Baykar Bayraktar Kızılelma is a jet-powered, single-engine, low-observable, supersonic, carrier-capable unmanned fighter aircraft. The aircraft is currently being developed by the Turkish defense company Baykar.
A recent video has revealed the features and capabilities of the Bayraktar Kizilelma armed drone. The company stated that the first flight of the Kizilelma is planned for 2023. The aircraft is the latest member of the Bayraktar drone series by Baykar Technology. The design was first revealed to the public in July 2021.
It is designed to be an armed drone, powered by a single turbofan engine. The aircraft has delta wing and canard configuration: the small canards are mounted forward of the main wings, which have triangular shape. The overall geometry of the airframe is consistent with contemporary stealth aircraft design with minimum protrusions and body angles seemingly optimized for decreasing the radar cross section. It can be assumed that the airframe coating and the paint will be of radar-absorbing material for better stealth.
According to technical specifications shared by Baykar Technology, the Kizilelma will be able to remain airborne for five hours and will have an operational ceiling of 35,000 feet. The maximum takeoff weight of the aircraft will be six tons with a payload capacity of 1.5 tons. The maximum combat radius, which is the maximum distance from its base the Kizilelma can cover to perform combat missions, is stated as 500 nm.
The Kizilelma will have an internal weapons bay to carry precision-guided missiles and bombs, a feature that further contributes to the aircraft’s stealth characteristics. Although the images and videos released by Baykar Technology do not show any hardpoints under the wings for carrying weapons or other systems, their presence is highly possible.
The Turkish defense industry offers a wide range of precision-guided weapon systems for the Kizilelma. The main sensor of the Kizilelma is planned to be an active electronically scanned array radar system, currently being developed by ASELSAN as well as advanced electro-optical cameras and electronic warfare systems.
Bayraktar Kızılelma has a takeoff weight of about 6000 kg and can lift up to 1500 kg of bombs and missiles. It is planned to make two modifications of the UAV. MIUS-A, equipped with Ukrainian AI-25TLT engine from Ivchenko-Progress will have a subsonic speed, while B variant with Ivchenko-Progress engine AI-322F or Turkish TEI TF-6000 will have a capacity of 2,5 times higher and faster than the speed of sound. It is assumed that the UAV Bayraktar Kızılelma will be launched from aboard the universal landing craft TCG Anadolu of the Turkish Navy, without the help of a catapult system. This is considered a backup plan of the Turkish Navy to ensure the combat power of their amphibious ships in case the US still decides not to sell the F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter.