Turkey to transfer 150 KAAN fighters from the first batch of production to allies

After the launch of mass production of KAAN combat aircraft – the first Turkish fighter of national production – Turkey intends to transfer about 150 units from the first batch to the allied countries.

Report informs citing the Star, this was stated by Mehmet Demiroglu, the new secretary general of the state-owned aerospace company TUSAŞ, which is developing 5th generation KAAN fighters.

“At the first stage, we intend to produce more than 100 units for the needs of the Turkish Air Force. About the same number of fighters will be produced for friendly and allied countries. Currently, several countries are showing serious interest in KAAN. To be precise, we are talking about about 150 units. Initially, we plan to produce about 250-300 aircraft. The priority, however, will remain to meet the needs of the domestic Air Force,” he said.

He also stressed that after the launch of production, Turkey will become one of the four countries in the world that produce fifth-generation fighters.

“The first KAANs in the Blok-10 configuration will be ready in 2025. After that, the main test flights will begin. The tests will not be completed until 2028. We plan to deliver the first 20 aircraft in 2028,” Demiroglu added.

Demiroglu said that the difference between the first configuration of the Blok-10 and subsequent more modernized KAAN models, which are planned to be produced in the future, has not been disclosed: “However, already the first batch of aircraft in the Blok-10 configuration will be many times superior to the fighters in service with the Turkish Air Force – in stealth, speed, radars. For example, the AESA radar installed on the KAAN [manufactured by the Turkish defense giant ASELSAN] has a longer range than the same radar installed on the F-16. With each new configuration, KAAN’s capabilities will be improved.”

The fifth-generation KAAN fighter is the first national combat aircraft of Turkish production, and has been under development since 2017. The prototype fighter made its first flight on February 22, 2024. Serial production is scheduled for 2028.

At the end of July 2023, the Ministry of Defence Industry of Azerbaijan and TUSAŞ signed a protocol on cooperation on the KAAN project. After that, in March 2024, former TUSAŞ CEO Temel Kotil told the media that one of KAAN’s components would be produced in Azerbaijan.

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