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(VIDEO) Turkey’s Fifth-Generation Fighter Jet “KAAN” Completes Maiden Flight

(VIDEO) Today's inaugural flight of the "KAAN" fighter jet also ensures that Turkey joins an exclusive group of nations capable of independently developing a fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Several hours ago, Turkey’s fifth-generation fighter aircraft, named “KAAN,” successfully completed its maiden flight, marking yet another historic milestone for the Mediterranean country’s aviation and defense industry.

 This inaugural flight also positions Turkey among a select group of nations capable of independently developing a fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

“KAAN” joins the ranks of other fifth-generation aircraft currently on the market, such as the American-made F-22 “Raptor,” F-35, China’s J-20 “Mighty Dragon” and J-31, and Russia’s Su-57 “Felon.”

According to Prof. Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the “KAAN” aircraft was airborne for 13 minutes, reaching a speed of 230 knots at an altitude of 8,000 feet.

The flight took place north of Ankara.

Prof. Kotil expressed his gratitude on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), thanking President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, all colleagues, and their families for their hard work in developing the “KAAN” fighter aircraft.

TAI is the prime contractor for the development of this fifth-generation fighter, “KAAN.”

As reported by local media, Erdogan highlighted this as one of the proudest days for Turkey’s defense industry, stating,

“The locally developed defense industry’s fighter aircraft, KAAN, has successfully completed its first flight today. Turkey has overcome another significant challenge in producing a fifth-generation fighter aircraft.”

The NATO member country initiated the development project for the fifth-generation fighter, “KAAN,” in 2016.

Previously expected to undertake its first flight by the end of last December, the flight was postponed at the last minute following ground and taxi tests.



Turkey intensified efforts to develop its own fifth-generation fighter following its removal from the F-35 program after insisting on purchasing the Russian-made S-400 “Triumf” air defense system.

As a development partner in the F-35 fighter program, Turkey had agreed to acquire 100 F-35 aircraft.

However, Ankara’s participation in the Lockheed Martin-led fifth-generation fighter program was terminated following its decision to purchase the S-400 “Triumf” from Russia.

“KAAN” was previously known as TF-X or Milli Muharip Ucak (National Combat Aircraft – MMU).

Nearly 100 percent of the Turkish fifth-generation aircraft was developed by the country’s own defense industry, with the exception of a few components such as the ejection seat, engine, and joystick (controller).

These foreign components in the “KAAN” aircraft will be replaced with Turkish-made parts as the development progresses into more advanced phases.


Preliminary data indicates that the “KAAN” fighter aircraft will have a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 27,200kg and be capable of reaching a maximum speed of Mach 2.

TAI, the primary contractor for the “KAAN” fifth-generation fighter development program, is expected to deliver 20 “KAAN” Block 10 fighter jets to the Turkish Air Force by 2028.

By 2029, TAI is expected to produce two “KAAN” fighter jets per month, generating an annual revenue of approximately $2.4 billion (RM9.6 billion).

 The fifth-generation “KAAN” fighter aircraft is set to replace more than 200 F-16 fighter jets currently in service with the Turkish Air Force. — DSA