The first flight of the Turkish unmanned fighter jet Kizilelma was completed today. This drone will be capable of staying in the air for up to 5 hours.
Kizilema is produced by the Turkish defense industry company Baykar Defense. The company did not disclose the exact technical details of the flight. It is not known for how long did this flight last, or what flight parameters were tested.
The final stages of development and testing of this unmanned flyer were completed in record time. Kizilelma first appeared on the runway on November 20, 2020. The first takeoff test was conducted on December 3, 2022. The first long-duration flight was initially scheduled for 2023, but Baykar apparently decided to make things faster.
Kizilelma uses the jet engine AI-25LT developed and manufactured by the Ukrainian company Motor Sich.
The drone will be able to carry standard-size air-to-air missiles. These missiles will be its primary armament. The total combat payload is 1 ton.
At its maximum speed of up to 800 km/h (500 mph), it will not be the fastest aircraft in the air, but it will not require any human crew onboard. Furthermore, not every human-piloted aircraft can remain airborne for 5 straight hours.
The main purpose of Kizilelma will be conducting air combat missions and intercepting airborne enemy targets.