KAAN to fly with indigenous engine

Temel Kotil, General Manager of Turkish Aerospace Industries, stated that they are planning to fly the National Combat Aircraft KAAN with a Turkish engine in 2028, and said, “We are working on this.”

The International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF’23), which is one of the world’s largest defense industry gatherings and has become an important promotion, marketing and cooperation platform in this field, continues.

Under the auspices of the Presidency, hosted by the Ministry of National Defence, under the management and responsibility of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TAFF) and organized by Tüyap Tüm Fuarcılık Yapım AŞ, the fair is held at Tüyap Fair and Congress Center.

Meeting with members of the press within the scope of the exhibition, Temel Kotil, President and CEO of TAI, said that the HÜRJET continues to fly successfully, that work on the national combat aircraft KAAN is ongoing and that there are no obstacles to its flight, and that test flights of pilots are continuing in the simulator built by HAVELSAN.

Speaking about the activities carried out by TAI and the company’s projects, Kotil said that the interest in the Heavy Class Attack Helicopter, popularly known as the “ATAK-2”, had exceeded expectations, and that Gulf countries were particularly interested in the ATAK-2.

Kotil said, “The fact that it can carry 1.3 tons of explosives, can lift weights, and has a 30 millimeter cannon has created an international interest far beyond expectations.”

“There is a serious demand boom in AKSUNGUR”

Temel Kotil talked about TAI’s 10 Ton Utility Helicopter Project and said, “Meanwhile, the T-129 ATAK helicopter is selling very well. Deliveries to the Philippines are almost over. We are currently sending it to Nigeria. We expect two customers to double the demand. We will sell a lot of ATAKs abroad. AKSUNGUR UAV is doing very well, we have many customers abroad. New customers are also coming. We are also seeing a serious explosion in demand for AKSUNGUR. We make 5 units of ANKA per month. Hopefully, we will increase this number and bring AKSUNGUR there as well.”

Kotil reminded that the sales of the HÜRKUŞ are continuing, and that ceremonies will be held in Chad and Niger next week, and that work is ongoing for the ANKA-3 to fly.

Kotil talked about the advantages that the flight of the HÜRJET provided for them, and described the achievements of Turkish engineers.

“There is great interest in HÜRKUŞ, we have a good chance of becoming the market leader”

In response to a related question, Kotil, the CEO of TAI, stated that they are currently focusing all their potential on delivering the training aircraft, and added: “We think it will be a very successful project. Because we used the latest possible materials when designing the aircraft. The engine is a 404 engine, a successful engine. ASELSAN has also made a great contribution.”

Kotil explained that all African countries from north to south are trying to strengthen their air forces, and some countries are trying to establish them:

“For these countries, HÜRKUŞ is a great alternative both as a training aircraft and as a light attack aircraft. Therefore, there is a great interest in HÜRKUŞ. HÜRKUŞ is lighter than its alternatives. Our new version is even lighter. Its engine is powerful; it has a 1,600 horsepower engine. Therefore, we actually have a very good chance of becoming the market leader there. Because it is a very new platform, very good equipment has been selected, and this is an aircraft that we have been kneading by hand for years. It will meet the needs of countries such as Africa, including Latin America, which are starting to establish air forces, not all of which have a complete air force.”

“TAI’s turnover is expected to exceed 2 billion dollars this year”

In response to a question about TAI’s exports, Kotil said:

“For us, exports are a sine qua non. Since we are already selling our products, we are going forward with production. There is a very high demand from both Airbus and Boeing. We make half-fuselage sections for airplanes, and there is a demand to fold them, to increase them two or three times. As TAI, we have invested approximately 2 billion dollars in facilities in the last seven years. These are not enough. There is an explosion of demand. TAI’s priority is to meet the demanded production rates. Turkey is currently unable to keep up. There is five times more demand from abroad than domestic demand.

AKSA, AKSUNGUR, HÜRKUŞ are selling them today. Our product to follow this is GÖKBEY, which we have marketed in many places. Our communication and surveillance satellite is going in parallel. After 2025, HÜRJET will also be included in this system. ATAK-2 will follow right after it. We are targeting a turnover of more than 2 billion dollars this year. Our 2028 target is to reach $10 billion.”

In response to a question about when TAI’s GÖKBEY helicopter would be available for civilian sales, Kotil said that work on this issue was ongoing, and that they would need one or two years for certification.

Kotil said that they had generated $500 million in revenue from the sale of aircraft parts to Airbus and Boeing, and that they expected this figure to increase to $1 billion in a short period of time, and that they were targeting $2 billion for the future.

“If the engine doesn’t come for HÜRJET, we will build it”

In response to a journalist’s comment that the engines for the HÜRJET had been purchased from the USA, and that these engines might not be delivered in the event of an unfavorable situation between the countries, Kotil, the General Manager of TAI, said: “If we can’t get them, we will do it, but this will set us back by 2-3 years. This is the whole issue. Our orders are voluminous. If there is a problem, we can move forward. Turkey is taking very serious steps in the engine field. But the engine is not as fast as the airplane. Because especially the hot zone needs to be studied very well.”

In response to a question about the number of engineers employed by the company, Kotil said that there were no personnel shortages, that the number of engineers had exceeded 6,000, and that the number of personnel had reached 15,000.

In response to a question about the interest in the T129 ATAK helicopter in the Gulf, Kotil said, “The T129 is a very good ATAK helicopter. The demand is very high. We have not signed a contract yet. I hope we will sell more than that, including in the Gulf.”

In response to a question about the engine to be used in the national combat aircraft KAAN, Kotil said, “Our plan is to fly KAAN with a Turkish engine in 2028. Our work for this is ongoing. Of course, we will need 1-2 years again for certification. However, it will have a Turkish engine in the 2030s. We are currently flying with the F110 engine.”

Translated with DeeplL from TRTHaber.com

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