By Anadolu Agency
Türkiye’s domestically developed KAAN fifth-generation fighter jet will make its maiden flight after completing high-speed taxi tests, a test pilot of the aircraft said. Gökhan Bayramoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the KAAN is on its way to becoming an effective weapon of the Turkish military with indigenous software and hardware.
Its engine tests and system integration are already done, bringing it a step closer to its first flight, said Bayramoğlu. “We carried out taxi tests, and after successfully passing them, we will now work on the control systems and bring them to the flying position,” the pilot added.
The aircraft has features that reduce the workload of the pilot, who will be able to focus on monitoring the airspace and executing the operation instead of commanding the aircraft. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday announced that KAAN would be the name of the jet, which was previously known as the national combat aircraft (MMU).
The fifth-generation aircraft was developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with an aim to replace the Turkish army’s aging F-16 fleet. Its project began in 2016 and the aircraft was rolled out in March.
The 21-meter (about 69-feet) aircraft is able to reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 thanks to its twin engines, which can produce 29,000 pounds (13,000 kilograms) thrust each. The KAAN’s capabilities include high situational awareness, optimized pilot workload, combat damage detection, new-generation mission systems, low observability, precision strikes and an internal weapon bay.