Turkey's Indigenous Fighter Jet KAAN Soars in Second Test Flight

Turkey’s Indigenous Fighter Jet KAAN Soars in Second Test Flight

Türkiye’s ambitious project to develop a homegrown next-generation fighter jet achieved another major milestone as the KAAN fighter completed its second successful test flight on Monday. This represents a significant step forward in Türkiye’s quest to modernize its air force capabilities and reduce external dependency.

Second Test Flight Highlights

According to the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), the KAAN took off early Monday and remained airborne for 14 minutes. During this second test phase, the fighter jet reached an impressive altitude of 10,000 feet and speed of 230 knots (426 km/h).

“Today, we witnessed another significant day in Turkish aviation history and Turkish defense history,” stated SSB head Haluk Görgün. “This flight, like the first, was very successful. The data obtained will be evaluated and preparations for the next flights will continue.”

The KAAN first took to the skies during its maiden flight on February 21st this year. Türkiye aims to use these test flights to validate the fighter’s performance and ready it for eventual serial production projected to begin in 2028.

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KAAN’s Advanced Multi-Role Capabilities

The KAAN fighter jet is envisioned to be a formidable multi-role combat aircraft featuring:

  • Maximum speed of 1.8 Mach (supersonic)
  • 55,000 ft ceiling altitude
  • +9g/-3.5g power limits
  • Internal weapons bay
  • Low radar cross-section stealth
  • Air-to-air and air-to-ground combat abilities
  • Artificial intelligence and neural networking

Türkiye aims to integrate domestically-produced engines on the KAAN for serial production runs after the jets are initially powered by General Electric F-110 engines used on F-16s.

Path to Self-Sufficiency in Fighter Jets

A NATO member, Türkiye launched the TF-X program to produce an indigenous fighter in 2016 and has collaborated with BAE Systems. The KAAN is Türkiye’s most ambitious aviation program to date.

Once operational, KAAN fighters will replace Türkiye’s aging F-16 fleet starting in the 2030s. This will make Türkiye one of only a handful of countries with the technology and capabilities to design, develop and produce a cutting-edge fifth-generation combat aircraft.

The successful second test flight brings Türkiye one step closer to achieving greater self-sufficiency for its air force and reducing reliance on foreign suppliers for advanced fighter jets. The KAAN program highlights the country’s growing aerospace and aviation industry prowess.

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