At the SAHA EXPO Defense and Aviation Fair in Istanbul on 11 November, Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar and Ukrainian high-tech engine manufacturer Ivchenko-Progress signed a deal to supply AI-322F and AI-25TLT jet engines for Baykar’s unnamed fighter aircraft (MIUS).
“On the second day of SahaExpo2021, we signed AI-322F Turbofan Engine Supply and AI-25TLT Turbofan Engine Integration contracts with Ukraine’s leading company Ivchenko-Progress for our MIUS (Combat Unmanned Aircraft System) project,” Baykar Defense announced on social media. Baykar General Manager Haluk Bayraktar noted during the signing ceremony that the two companies have worked well together for many years.
Bayraktar stated that Ukraine and Turkey are strategic partners who complement one another and went on to say, “With the contract, we will install the AI-322F engine, co-developed by Ivchenko Progress and Motor Sich, on our unmanned warplane. This contract will strengthen the strategic cooperation between the two countries, and I hope it will give the two countries more strength.”
Later, Igor Kravchenko, General Manager of Ivchenko Progress, said:
“Turkey is currently one of the most powerful unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturers in the world. Ukraine is one of the 6 countries that can produce engines from start to finish. I am confident that our collaborative efforts will contribute to the security and independence of the two countries, as well as provide the world with a new and stronger product. Today, we can see the fruits of this mutually beneficial collaboration. I am confident that this will not be our last project together, and that we will move on to newer endeavors.”
MİUS is Turkey’s first project for an unmanned combat aircraft. Baykar began working towards MİUS in 2013, and images of the conceptual design were released on July 20, 2021. The only information about the aircraft’s technical aspects comes from Selçuk Bayraktar’s comments. The platform will be able to stay in the air for around five hours at an operational altitude of 40,000 feet, according to these statements. MİUS has a cruising speed of 0.8 Mach and can use the SATCOM data network without any range constraints.
MİUS will have a payload and ammunition capacity of close to 1.5 tons, will be able to carry air-to-air, air-to-ground smart missiles, and cruise missiles, and will be able to carry its ammunition inside the body to make it less visible to radar. It will be able to perform close air support, strategic attack missions, suppression/destruction of air defense systems, and missile attack missions in situations where radar invisibility is not a factor.
In recent months, Baykar Defense included an important detail about MİUS in their presentation at the International Defense Investment Forum in Ukraine. According to the presentation, MİUS will be produced in two models, A and B, with two different engines used in the two models of MİUS.
With the recent agreement, The AI-25TLT turbofan engine is expected to be utilized in the MİUS A model, while the AI-322F turbofan engine with a weight of 560 kg and 4,200 kg of thrust is expected to be used in the Bayraktar MİUS B model, according to the agreement.