Watch: Turkey's Fifth-Gen Fighter-Jet Conducts Maiden Flight

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Feb 22, 2024 - 07:45 AM

Since Washington imposed sanctions on NATO member Turkey's defense sector in 2020 due to its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems and excluded Ankara from the F-35 'friends circle,' the country that bridges Europe and Asia has been accelerating the development of its own fifth-generation fighter jet. 

Turkey launched its TF-X project to produce a national combat aircraft in 2016. By 2017, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS) signed a deal with Britain's BAE Systems, worth up to $125 million, to develop the next-generation fighter known as "KAAN." 

According to state broadcaster TRT, KAAN took off from an airstrip in Ankara, the capital, on Wednesday. The maiden flight lasted about ten minutes.  

"With KAAN, our country will not only have a fifth generation fighter jet, but also technologies that few countries in the world have," Haluk Gorgun, head of Turkey's Defence Industries Directorate (SSB), wrote in a post on social media platform X. 

"It's still expected to take several years for Kaan to be operational, with engine procurement emerging as the biggest challenge facing developers," Bloomberg pointed out, adding, in a separate report from December, that TUSAS was looking to manufacture GE Aerospace's F110 engines domestically to supply the first series production phase of KAAN.