Turkish stealth fighter prototype made its first flight

Turkish stealth fighter prototype made its first flight

The prototype of the Türkiye’s next-generation fighter jet, KAAN, successfully completed its maiden flight.

Developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the KAAN represents Türkiye’s most ambitious technological endeavor, aimed at bolstering the country’s defense capabilities and enhancing its strategic position on the global stage.

Accompanied by a Turkish Air Force (TurAF) F-16D Fighting Falcon, the KAAN completed its maiden flight in the early hours of Wednesday.

The fifth-generation aircraft, formerly known as the TF-X, is slated to replace the aging F-16 aircraft in the inventory of the Air Forces Command, with plans for phased implementation starting in the 2030s. Launched in 2016, the KAAN project underscores Türkiye’s commitment to modernizing its defense infrastructure and ensuring its readiness for future challenges.

Former chief of Military Intelligence, Lieutenant General İsmail Hakkı Pekin, provided insights into the aircraft’s capabilities, noting that KAAN’s mass production will span a decade. Once operational, Türkiye’s Air Force is expected to emerge as a formidable air power in the region, with the KAAN playing a central role in its fleet composition.

Retired Air Lieutenant General Erdoğan Karakuş emphasized the transformative impact of KAAN on Türkiye’s air defense capabilities, highlighting its superiority in munitions capacity compared to the F-35 jets. With the full production phase slated for completion by 2040, Türkiye is poised to possess a formidable fleet of 300 aircraft, solidifying its dominance in the skies.

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