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Turkish Aerospace marks programme milestones on national ‘Victory Day'

The TF-X/MMU made its first engine runs on 17 March. (Turkish Aerospace)

Turkish Aerospace (TA) marked and announced upcoming major milestones for its four primary combat aviation programmes during Turkey's Gallipoli ‘Victory Day' on 18 March.

TA president and CEO Temel Kotil announced developments pertaining to the Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft (MMU), and the Hürjet advanced jet trainer aircraft, as well as noting upcoming milestones for the ATAK 2 attack helicopter, and the ANKA 3 low-observable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

“We have kept our promise to our nation in the Century of Turkey. MMU and Hürjet taxied, ATAK 2 will start the engine soon, and ANKA 3 will make its first flight,” Kotil announced from his official Twitter account.

Images released by the Defence Industry Agency (SSB) showed the TF-X/MMU advanced ‘fifth-generation' combat aircraft undergoing initial engine runs at TA's Ankara facility on 17 March, and the Hürjet doing the same the following day.

As Kotil recently briefed Janes and other defence media, the TF-X/MMU is very much a national project with complete domestic production being the goal. Although it has been, and continues to be, developed with UK assistance, TA has largely had to stand up a Turkish design, development, and manufacturing capability from scratch.

The Hürjet is a twin-seat, single-engine supersonic advanced jet trainer and light combat aircraft, which will replace Turkish Air Force Command's (TAFC's) ageing Northrop T-38 Talon trainers. Although the aircraft has not yet flown, serial production commenced in January 2022.

The ATAK 2 is an upgraded version of the ATAK 1 attack helicopter, which itself is a Turkish version of the Italian T129 Mangusta, while the ANKA 3 is a jet-powered ‘stealth' unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV).

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