Turkey ends the year with the first flight of its fifth-generation fighter jet
Turkey is preparing to end 2023 in terms of breakthroughs in defense platforms by fielding its fifth-generation domestic fighter jet and its first flying-wing drone intended for deep-sky strikes.
The beginning of the year has already seen a number of first flights, including that of Turkey's first unmanned fighter jet, the Kizilelma, the Hurjet light jet fighter, as well as the new Bayraktar TB3 unmanned combat aircraft, tailored for the country's new aircraft carrier. .
In the remaining days of 2023, the Turkish Aviation Industry (TAI) is scheduled to perform the inaugural flights of the domestic fifth-generation combat aircraft, called KAAN, and the new Anka-3 combat drone.
KAAN, which was unveiled earlier this year, is one of the most important projects in Turkey's history. The military aircraft made its runway debut and successfully completed its first test in mid-March.
The platform makes Turkey one of the few countries with the infrastructure and technology to produce a fifth-generation fighter jet. It aims to replace the aging fleet of F-16s in the Air Force Command's inventory, which is slated to be phased out starting in the 2030s. The project was launched in 2016.
The project has helped Turkey advance technology areas such as low visibility, internal weapons bays, high maneuverability, enhanced situational awareness and sensor fusion, all features needed for a new generation of aircraft.
As for the Anka-3, the platform has undergone design, structural and subsystem improvements and is expected to boast several advantages such as low radar visibility, high speed and significant payload capacity.
Anka-3 is expected to be able to fly at an operating altitude of up to 40.000 feet and sustain a flight of up to 10 hours at 30.000 feet. It will have a maximum take-off weight of 6.500 kilograms and a practical payload of 1.200 kilograms.