Koluman

Is the New KIZILELMA Prototype a Supersonic one?

Is the New KIZILELMA Prototype a Supersonic one?

KIZILELMA’s new prototype was spotted during Saudi officials’ visit to Baykar. Some changes hint that this prototype might be designed to fly supersonic. The new prototype contains a wide array of design changes. 

These include control surfaces and fuselage on the external side and, most likely, internal systems. On the control surfaces, the flap arrangement is observed to be remade with two flaps instead of five on the wings. 

The vertical stabilisers have become larger and angled more uniformly with the fuselage’s sides. The lower number of flaps might have been preferred to simplify the flight control. More importantly, the actuators for flaps and vertical stabilisers have been concealed, improving aerodynamics and reducing the radar cross section (RCS). The fuselage’s backside is noticeably different from the first prototype, with a slant towards the rear end that will likely improve the aerodynamics. Additionally, enlarged intakes hint at the arrival of an AI-322F after-burning turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 44 kN on the afterburner. 


(AI-322F Turbofan engine) 

The current engine, AI-25TLT, is weaker, with a maximum thrust of 16.9 kN. The nose section is missing the housing for TOYGUN-100 EOTS but has a new housing on the top, which might be for KARAT-100 IRST. Additionally, the radome for MURAD-200A AESA radar is visible.

Previously, ASELSAN has stated that smaller versions of KARAT and TOYGUN optical systems being developed for the KAAN fighter jet will be used on KIZILELMA. It is understood that Baykar made changes according to feedback from the flight tests, and the unmanned fighter is one step closer to introduction. The changes might signal the supersonic version of KIZILELMA UCAV.

FNSS