Turkish combat drone Bayraktar Kızılelma

Bayraktar Kızılelma, the new Turkish combat drone to be manufactured in Ukraine

The first prototype of the most modern Turkish combat drone, with capabilities similar to that of a jet fighter, will fly in 2023.

The Bayraktar Kızılelma, the new Turkish combat drone developed by Baykar – the defence technology company that manufactures the famous Bayraktar TB2 – that will be manufactured in Ukraine, has been presented at the Teknofest aerial and technological festival, which takes place these days in Samsun province, northern Turkey.

The first prototype of the new Bayraktar Kızılelma, which is still in the development phase, is one of the drones that have been presented at Teknofest 2022, raising great expectations. Teknofest is a festival that has been organized annually in Turkey since 2018 focused on technology, aviation and space, and whose aim is to present the latest technological innovations from Turkey in these fields and promote the interest of young Turks in developing new technologies and facilitate the transformation of Turkey into a technologically innovative society, through exhibitions, competitions, etc.

The Bayraktar Kızılelma will fly in 2023 and will have supersonic capability

The Kızılelma, whose first flight is scheduled to take place in 2023, will have a jet engine and will be able to carry up to 1.5 tons of payload, including weapons and other devices; it will have a flight range of 930 kilometres and can reach an altitude of up to 10,668 meters, according to Selçuk Bayraktar, head of Baykar’s technological development department. It can operate in the air for 5 hours, reaching speeds of 900 kilometres per hour initially, although later models will have supersonic capability thanks to the use of AI-322F engines, developed in Ukraine.

Turkish combat drone Bayraktar Kızılelma, prototype

“Turkey has ranked among the top three countries in the world in terms of technological development,” said Bayraktar, who assured that the Turkish armed forces are currently the world’s army that has best adapted unmanned aerial vehicle technology to modern warfare. Proof of this is the huge success around the world of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 combat drone, which has been purchased by 24 countries, while the Bayraktar Akıncı, a military drone that entered service in the Turkish army in 2021, will be exported to 4 countries.

The Bayraktar TB2 is one of the most advanced combat drones in the world, capable of carrying out combat, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, and flying more than 27 hours at an altitude of up to 7,630 meters. It has been used with big success in operations in Turkey and northern Iraq against the PKK terrorist group, as well as by Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and more recently in bombing raids in Ukraine against the Russian army.

An “insect” drone developed by ASELSAN

ASELSAN's insect drone

During Teknofest, in addition to the new Turkish combat drone Bayraktar Kızılelma, the Turkish defence giant ASELSAN also presented an “insect” drone, a mini drone under development that uses insect-like wings and a mechanism to fly that mimics that of the hummingbird, and that is capable of carrying out reconnaissance and surveillance missions without being detected. “Our goals are ambitious,” said the general director of ASELSAN, Haluk Görgün, referring to the field of nano drones, without going into more detail.