Turkey’s Baykar Savunma has revealed that the unmanned fighter jet it is currently working on will have low visibility and aggressive maneuverability.
After being ejected from the F-35 program, Turkey is banking on the large stealth jet drone to provide it with the ability to penetrate enemy air defenses and attack military targets.
The company released official rendering of its new jet-powered unmanned aircraft system or Combat Unmanned Aerial System (MIUS) in July. The aircraft is set to make its first flight in 2023.
Selcuk Bayraktar, Baykar’s chief technology officer (CTO), revealed infographics on the fighter jet project during the recently held Aviation and Space Summit organized by Gebze Technical University’s Aviation and Space Club. The aircraft is set to have a high operational altitude and take-off weight of 5,500 kilograms (12,125 pounds). It will carry a 1,500 kg useful payload. The unmanned fighter jet is set to have five hours of flight time will be able to reach speeds of up to 800 kilometers per hour (kph) (Mach 0.64).
Bayraktar previously emphasized that since the domestic development of fighter jets like the F-35 – a program from which Turkey has been expelled – could take an extended period, it may result in Turkey's platform lagging a generation behind, which is why developing unmanned fighter jets is of particular importance.
Instead of producing an F-35-like aircraft in 15 to 20 years, Bayraktar said, they are concentrating on areas the world is already heading towards – lower-cost, artificial intelligence-equipped unmanned warplanes.
This can make Turkey one of the leading countries in the field as it has succeeded with its “game-changing” UAVs and UCAVs, he said at the time.