The first prototype of Bayraktar AKINCI, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) indigenously developed by Turkey, hit a new milestone by reaching an altitude of 30,000 feet (9.15 kilometers) during a test flight. 

The High Altitude System Identification Test took place at Bayraktar facilities in Tekirdag-Çorlu Military Base (TEQ), Turkey, on August 22, 2020. The AKINCI PT-1 remained at ceiling altitude for 3 hours and 22 minutes. It was the fifth successful flight of the prototype since its maiden flight in December 2019.

The latest model of the Turkish drone maker Baykar Technologies is a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) combat drone powered by two turboprop engines. It is reportedly capable of deploying a payload of 1,350 kilograms (2,980 pounds), which include 400 kilograms (880 pounds) in the internal weapons bay and 950 kilograms (2,090 pounds) on external hardpoints.

The second prototype started tests on August 13, 2020, and passed a 20,000-feet (6 kilometers) altitude test on August 19, 2020. The integration work for a third prototype, to be delivered by the end of the year, is ongoing.

Forget your fighter jets and stealth bombers, decommission your ground attack aircraft; lay off your pilots and, with a gentle touch of a command console, switch to autonomous mode. We need as little interference from squishy human beings as possible, because unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is where the future of aerial warfare is!