From KAAN to MILDEN A Look at Current Status of Indigenous Air & Naval Platform Programs

Tarih: Issue 124 - July 2023 Güncelleme: November 30, 2023

Investing heavily into the development of the local defense sector capabilities and encouraging the design and development of high-tech defense equipment since early 2000s, Türkiye has been recently transitioning from being a license producer to a technology owner and is now keen to export the fruits of its labors to become internationally competitive in the global defense market.

Although Turkish Aerospace Sector’s strength is still unable to rank among the first echelon, Türkiye is still insisting on developing more advanced next generation domestic manned and unmanned fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. In this context, indigenously developed 5th Generation fighter jet KAAN Turkish Fighter (MMU/TF-X)’s first prototype GTU/P0 and twin-seat, single-engine supersonic new generation Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) HURJET’s first prototype, dubbed P1, performed their first engine runs on February 12 and January 30, 2023 respectively and started their slow taxi tests on March 17 and March 18 respectively. HURJET P1 conducted its maiden flight on April 25, 2023 and as of June 10th a total of 10 test flights have been conducted during which HURJET accumulated a total of 6 hours and 16 minutes flight hours. KAAN MMU/TF-X is planned to perform its maiden flight by the end of 2023 (but according to sources first flight can be postponed to February or March 2024). However, contrary to Turkish Aerospace (TUSAS) President & CEO Prof. Dr. Temel KOTIL, Turkish Defense Industry Agency (SSB, formerly Presidency of Defense Industries) believed that the first flight shall take in late 2024 or in 2025. Meanwhile, the first prototype of indigenously designed and developed T929 ATAK-II Heavy-Class Attack Helicopter successfully conducted its first flight test on April 28, 2023, following ground tests. The helicopter was developed under the contract signed between the SSB and TUSAS on February 22, 2019.