Turkish TAI TF-X fighter jet is on the runway for taxiing tests
ANKARA, TURKEY — Turkey has begun to write a new chapter in its modern military history. Turkey’s original military aircraft, the National Combat Aircraft [MMU in Turkish] TAI TF-X, has begun taxiing tests. The TF-X, which took to the track with its own engines, successfully completed the test.
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The Turkish National Combat Aircraft Project, which was initiated by the Defense Industries Presidency [SSB] and is being implemented by the prime contractor TAI, is progressing successfully. The national fighter jet, which recently fired its engines for the first time, has begun taxi trials, the next stage of ground trials.
According to information from Turkish media, during the test held on Thursday, March 16, the TAI TF-X started its own engines and took to the track. The test involved starting the engines and moving on their own by advancing along the track to a certain distance. Turkey declared the test a success, which it was.
The next test will be officially presented tomorrow, March 18th. It is known as a roll-out which is the official departure of the aircraft from the hangar. Driving on the track proved that the Turkish TAI TF-X is fully ready to perform the roll-out test.
The MMU gets its own camouflage
Special footage of the Turkish national fighter jet on the runway reached the editors of BulgarianMilitary.com using Turkish sources. The images show that the TAI TF-X has received its gray paint, while the air intakes and parts of the fairing are painted in a lighter color.
The first flight will be in 2023
The TAI TF-X project, which Turkey aims to develop as its own 5th-generation combat aircraft with national resources, was launched on August 5, 2016. Ankara initially planned for the aircraft to make its first flight in 2026. However, Turkey is making rapid progress and now says the first flight will be by the end of 2023.
It is known that 3 prototype MMU Block 0 and 1 MMU Block I will be produced by TAI. The production of 3 MMU Block 0 prototypes is planned to be completed by the end of 2026. From 2029, it is aimed to start the production activity of the MMU Block I configuration and deliver 10 A/C MMU Block I to the Turkish Air Force.
The national fighter jet, which will be described as generation 4.5 in the first stage, aims to reach 5th-generation status in the last stage. Currently, the US-made F-22 and F-35 fighter jets are known as 5th-generation fighter jets. The Russian-built Su-57 and the Chinese J-20 platforms are described as 4.5-generation combat aircraft aiming to reach 5th-generation status.
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