Forbidden fruit: Turkish UAV ‘Kızılelma’ aces tests

Turkey’s first indigenously designed and produced unmanned fighter aircraft successfully passed the system identification test during its second flight, the developing company said in a statement on Monday.

Selçuk Bayraktar, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Baykar directed the test flight of the National Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle System (MIUS), named Kızılelma (“Red Apple”), in Çorlu district, northwestern Tekirdağ province.

Bayraktar, also shared a statement on his social media account that read, “Bayraktar #KIZILELMA successfully completed its second flight test. Godspeed.”

Having completed its maiden flight in December last year, the fast drone fighter jet, 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 Türkiye’s flagship-to-be Anadolu amphibious assault ship. 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).