Turkish Embassy in Seoul celebrates test flight of homemade 5th-gen fighter jet

By Park Sae-jin Posted : February 22, 2024, 16:27 Updated : February 22, 2024, 16:33
Courtesy of the Turkish Embassy in Seoul
[Courtesy of the Turkish Embassy in Seoul]

SEOUL -- The Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye in Seoul sent out a congratulatory message to celebrate the successful maiden flight of Türkiye's homegrown fifth-generation jet fighter known by its nickname "KAAN."

The fighter jet formerly known as "TF-X" and "Milli Muharip Uçak" is a stealthy twin-engine all-weather air superiority fighter that is being developed by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and sub-contractor BAE Systems, a British multinational arms, security, and aerospace company. The KAAN can be integrated with unmanned aerial vehicles, allowing pilots to control attack or reconnaissance drones from the cockpit.

The first KAAN prototype performed taxi and ground tests including landing gear tests, avionic system tests, fuel tests, and engine start-up tests in March 2023. The maiden flight of the fifth-generation stealth fighter was made by Turkish test pilot Barbaros Demirbas on February 21, 2024.

After the maiden flight, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Türkiye has completed another critical stage to produce its homegrown KAAN. Türkiye's industry and technology minister Mehmet Fatih Kacir said via X, formerly known as Twitter: "Turks' steel wings in the sky!"

According to TAI, KAAN flew for 13 minutes and reached a speed of 230 aerial knots (426 kilometers) at an altitude of 8,000 feet (2.4 kilometers).

The Turkish Embassy in Seoul released a statement on February 22 and celebrated the test flight KAAN. "Through this development, Türkiye has become one of the world's very few countries with the fifth-generation fighter technology," the embassy said, adding: "It is our goal to replace Türkiye's outdated fighter jets with the first batch of the homegrown fifth-generation fighters."
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