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Turkey flies Kaan fighter for first time

Screengrab of a video showing the first flight of the Kaan combat aircraft on 21 February 2024. (Presidency of the Republic of Turkey)

Turkey has flown its Kaan National Combat Aircraft (MMU) for the first time, Turkish Aerospace (TA) announced.

The domestically developed ‘fifth-generation' fighter departed TA's Ankara facility for its approximately 15-minute maiden flight on 21 February. For the flight, the Kaan MMU was accompanied by a Turkish Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon chase plane.

“We have carved another development in our history,” President of Defence Industry Agency Haluk Görgün said of the event. “May the first flight of our National Combat Aircraft, Kaan, be beneficial to our nation. We will [bring] not only a fifth-generation warplane, but also technologies owned by a few countries in the world to our country through Kaan.”

The Kaan MMU has a length of 21 m with a wingspan of 14 m and a height of 6 m. It is powered by two engines each developing 27,000 lb of thrust (while the prototype is fitted with General Electric F110 engines, the production series aircraft will have Turkish developed engines); has a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 and a service ceiling of 55,000 ft; and is able to withstand g limits of between +9 g and -3.5 g . In terms of avionics and sensors, it will feature an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, electronic warfare capabilities, advanced integrated communications navigation and identification features, an electro-optical targeting system and infrared search and track, and an advanced cockpit and human-machine interface.

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