Turkey’s unmanned fighter Kizilelma carries out maiden flight

Turkey’s fighter drone Kizilelma carried out its maiden flight on Wednesday, Turkish defence company Baykar Technology said.

Kizilelma, officially known as the National Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle System, has a payload capacity of 1.5 tons, and the maximum distance it can cover to perform combat missions is 926 km, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the technical specifications issued by the company.

Powered by a turbofan engine, Kizilelma can fly for up to 5 hours, and reach speeds of up to 800 kph (500 mph or Mach 0.64), the company said.

The aircraft will extend Turkey’s armed drone capabilities from land-based to naval operations. It will be capable of taking off from and landing on short-runway aircraft carriers, including the flagship-to-be amphibious assault ship TCG Anadolu of the Turkish Navy.

Baykar said the aircraft will be capable of operating in tandem with piloted aircraft and will be able to carry air-to-air missiles.

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