Military Aviation

Video shows Turkish Kaan 5+ Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft maiden flight

Turkish Kaan National Combat Aircraft maiden flight

Filmed on Feb. 21, 2024 the video in this post was releases by Turkish Secretariat of Defence Industries and features the maiden flight of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) TF Kaan National Combat Aircraft (MMU – Milli Muharip Uçak). The KAAN stayed airborne for 13 minutes. During this flight, it reached an altitude of 8000 feet and achieved a speed of 230 knots.

As reported by Scramble Magazine, the new fighter, formerly known as the TF-X, was accompanied by a Turkish Air Force (TurAF) F-16D Fighting Falcon.

In order to meet TurAF requirements beyond 2030s, an indigenous design and development program aims to replace the service aging F-16 fleet.

According to a TAI news release, within the scope of KAAN Program, Turkey will become one of the few countries to possess the necessary technologies, engineering infrastructure and production capabilities. Once the engineering activities on all the critical technologies are accomplished (e.g. increased situational awareness, sensor fusion, low observability, weapon bay, …etc), which are needed by a 5th generation (or beyond) jet fighter aircraft.

KAAN to be interoperable with F-35As

KAAN aircraft is planned to be kept operational in the TurAF inventory until 2070s and will be interoperable with other critical assets of TurAF such as F-35As.

The KAAN indigenous design and development program prime contract between Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) of Ministry of Turkish National Defence and Turkish Aerospace has been signed on Aug. 5, 2016.

The timing of this signature alone, is a key demonstrator of Turkey’s determination of running mega-projects uninterruptedly, even under extra-ordinary conditions.

Currently, the prime contract covers the initial four (4) years (starting after signature of major subcontracts) which will end up with completion of preliminary design phase. Within this period beyond the design and development of KAAN Aircraft, engineering capabilities, technology development activities (for key sensors like radar, electronic warfare..etc.), test infrastructures establishment and certification processes will be performed and extensive capabilities for a new generation jet fighter design, development and production will be gained by Turkish industry.

KAAN aircraft will be a multi-role aircraft, it will be designed mainly for air-to-air role with a consideration to air-to-surface roles as well. Upon engineering analysis, KAAN aircraft will be a multi-role aircraft, it will be designed mainly for air-to-air role with a consideration to air-to-surface roles as well. Upon engineering analysis, preliminary calculations, based on received information of suppliers of candidate engines, KAAN aircraft is decided to be a twin engine configuration.

5+ Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft

Turkish Fighter-KAAN, the 5+ Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft, provides significant capabilities in both Air to Surface and Air to Air combat requirements. Turkish Aerospace’s survivable, strong and agile platform Turkish Fighter is a fully aware warrior, with intelligent and strong combat capabilities.

KAAN provides air dominance through:

  • Increased air to air engagement ranges with Novel Weapons
  • Precise and accurate weapon firing from internal weapon bays at high/supersonic speed
  • Augmented lethality with support of Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks.

Initially, the aircraft will be powered by the General Electric F110 engine, some of which were delivered in 2022. Future developments may include the use of an indigenously developed TEI engine.

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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