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Turkish Fifth-Gen Fighter Aircraft “KAAN” To Conduct Maiden Flight Before March

According to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the maiden flight of the "KAAN" fighter aircraft is expected to take place before the end of March, as the aircraft is required to undergo several crucial tests.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — After being delayed for several months, Turkey’s fifth-generation fighter aircraft, “KAAN,” is expected to conduct its maiden flight before the end of March, according to the Chief Executive Officer of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Temel Kotil.

This information was disclosed by Kotil and reported by local media.

Kotil anticipates that the inaugural flight of the “KAAN” fighter aircraft will take place before the end of March due to the necessity for the aircraft to undergo “several crucial tests.”

Previously, the maiden flight of the fifth-generation “KAAN” fighter was scheduled for late December last year but was cancelled at the last moment after a series of ground tests and taxi tests.

The introduction of Turkey’s fifth-generation fighter aircraft, “KAAN,” demonstrates that Turkey does not require F-35 fighter jets in its air force fleet.

KAAN
“KAAN”

 

Turkey now possesses a fifth-generation fighter aircraft as a replacement for the F-35.

Recently, the United States expressed its willingness to “welcome back” Turkey into the fifth-generation fighter aircraft program, F-35, even though the two countries are still in disagreement over Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system.

This statement was made by U.S. acting undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland during an interview with CNN Turk in Turkey.

 She stated, “If we can resolve the S-400 air defense system issue (purchased by Turkey from Russia), where we (the United States) want to resolve it, the United States is very happy to welcome Turkey back into the F-35 family.”

If we can overcome this issue, the CAATSA issue will disappear, and we can return to discussions about the F-35,” she added.

KAAN
“KAAN”.

 

Turkey was initially supposed to acquire 100 F-35 aircraft from Lockheed Martin, but Washington decided to “exclude” the Mediterranean country from the development program after Ankara purchased the Russian-made S-400 air defense system.

 Furthermore, Ankara had already paid a “preliminary payment” of $1.4 billion to the United States to participate in the aircraft development program.

Turkey opted for the Russian-made S-400 air defense system after its request to acquire the American-made “Patriot” air defense system was rejected by Washington.

TAI, the primary contractor for the development of the fifth-generation “KAAN” fighter aircraft, is reportedly set to deliver a total of 20 KAAN Block 10 fighter aircraft to the Turkish Air Force by 2028.

By the year 2029, TAI is expected to produce two KAAN fighter aircraft each month, generating an estimated annual revenue of around $2.4 billion.

KAAN

The fifth-generation KAAN fighter aircraft is poised to replace over 200 F-16 and F-4 fighter jets owned by the Turkish Air Force.

 Previously known as TF-X or Milli Muharip Ucak (National Combat Aircraft – MMU), almost 100 percent of Turkey’s fifth-generation aircraft is developed by its domestic defense industry, with only a few components such as the ejection seat, engine, and controller being of foreign origin.

However, these foreign components on the KAAN aircraft are expected to be replaced with domestically manufactured components as the aircraft development progresses.

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

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