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Turkey Inches Closer to Inaugural Flight of First Unmanned Fighter Jet

Turkish defense firm Baykar Technology is set to launch the inaugural flight of the country’s first unmanned fighter jet following a takeoff test in late November.

The drone Kizilelma recently completed runway and autonomous taxiing trials at an air base in northwestern Tekirdag province. 

Fully Autonomous

Turkey’s first unmanned fighter jet is capable of fully autonomous takeoff and landing, even on short-runway aircraft carriers, including the country’s future flagship drone carrier TCG Anadolu

The 232-meter (761-foot) vessel completed its first-ever helicopter landing and takeoff exercises in late November.

The Kizilelma can operate with piloted aircraft and may be equipped with air-to-air missiles.

“With consideration of a future where air combat will be dominated by unmanned technology, our Bayraktar Kizilelma Fighter UAV, being developed fully within Turkish borders, will most certainly play an increasingly important role moving ahead,” the company said.

The aircraft can reach an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,668 meters) and fly for up to five hours.

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