Turkish fighter jet KAAN to fly after high-speed taxi tests

By Anadolu Agency

Turkey’s indigenous KAAN fighter jet will take off for the first time after completing high-speed taxi tests, a test pilot of the aircraft said.

Gokhan Bayramoglu told Anadolu 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 Bayramoglu.

“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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday announced that KAAN would be the name of the jet, which was previously known as the national combat aircraft.

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 internal weapon bay.