The Turkish pioneering drone maker announced on Saturday its unmanned fighter jet would soon perform its maiden flight, as it edged closer to the landmark task after a successful takeoff test where it lifted off the ground for a short duration of time.
The latest progress came after the National Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle System (MIUS), named Kızılelma, completed its first runway run and autonomous taxiing test last month at an air base in northwestern Tekirdağ province.
Both tests were overseen by Baykar’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Selçuk Bayraktar.
“Having a hard time keeping #KIZILELMA on the ground,” Bayraktar wrote on Twitter after the takeoff test on Saturday.
“Bayraktar #KIZILELMA counting down for first flight…,” he said in a separate post.
The fast drone fighter jet Kızılelma is said to represent a significant expansion of capabilities for slow-moving reconnaissance and missile-carrying drones.