Kale-Baykar Makina is a leading Unmanned Air System (UAS) provider based in Turkey. Its Bayraktar TB2 (detailed elsewhere on this site) has been making recent headlines over Ukraine during the Russian invasion of its neighbor and in actions across the previous Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan - events having solidified this product (and its manufacturer) as a serious global player in the crowded UAV/UAS/UCAV market. Now the company has turned its attention to more advanced products including its "Fighter UAV" - the "Kizilelma".
This classification indicates an "all-in-one", radar-equipped system intended to cover many of the facets associated with modern warplanes including air-to-air combat, general reconnaissance, and ground attack - all through an unmanned arrangement (by default reducing pilot risk in active airspaces). The aircraft is being developed with maritime operations in mind and will therefore be "carrier friendly" from the outset - playing well into Turkey's desire (and its allies) to field helicopter carriers in its naval fleet.
A first-flight of the system is expected sometime in 2023 with series introduction following thereafter. The Turkish Armed Forces are perceived as the initial operating customer.
As drawn up, the Kizilelma certainly looks the part of advanced, modern fighter. It has a streamlined overall appearance with side-mounted intakes used to aspirate the single Ivchenko (Ukrainian) AI-25TLT turbofan engine. Canards are set forward of the mainplanes which are straight, tapering members positioned aft of midships. The vertical planes are a pair of outward-canted surfaces for agility and control. A wheeled, retractable tricycle landing gear will allow for ground- / deck-running or the air vehicle. For deck ops, a tail hook and folding wing mainplanes are assumed.
As it stands in March of 2022, the Kizilelma is planned with a combat radius of 575 miles operating at altitudes under 35,000 feet through a 5-hour endurance window while cruising near 460 miles-per-hour. The aircraft will be rated at 12,000lb for Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) giving it the flexibility to take on various war loads up to 1,500lb. This will be made up of in-service solutions such as Precision-Guided Munitions (PGMs), laser-guided bombs, air-to-surface missiles and the like.
Advanced, planned features include complete autonomy apart from ground operators in both take-off and landing actions, low observability to modern radar systems, and inherent agility common to modern fighter aircraft. The nose is set to house an all-modern Active, Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
The air vehicle will be able to operate through both Line-of-Sight (LoS) and Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLoS) of the ground control station and have the ability to be launched and retrieved from the flight deck of aircraft / helicopter carriers.
With the success of other Baykar unmanned products, the Kizilelma stands as the next logical evolution of the Bayraktar series and there will be no shortage of global suitors awaiting the arrival of the air vehicle - should it come to fruition.
Program in Progress.
Kale-Baykar Makina - Turkey
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.
Maritime / Navy
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
Survivability enhanced by way of onboard electronic or physical countermeasures enacted by the aircraft or pilot/crew.
Small foreplanes ahead of the mainplanes reduce wing-loading and / or enhance maneuverability during high angle-of-attack or stall actions.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Design features autonomous flight operations made possible through onboard artificial intelligence or pre-programming.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.
monoplane / mid-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Baykar Bayraktar Kizilelma production variant)
1 x Ivchenko AI-25LTL non-afterburning turbofan engine developing 3,500lb of thrust.
(900 kph | 486 kts)
(750 kph | 405 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
(+150 kph | 81 kts)
(10,670 m | 7 mi)
(950 km | 1,759 nm)
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Undisclosed at time of publication. Assumed Precision-Guided Munitions (PGMs) such as laser-guided bombs, smart bombs, and the like as well as air-to-surface missiles for defeating armor and structures.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)