Turkish 5th-gen KAAN might reach production up to 300 units

In an interview with Gdh TV, Mehmet Demiroğlu, the executive director of Turkish Aerospace Industries, discussed ambitious plans for the KAAN fighter. Touted as a fifth-generation fighter in Turkey, Demiroğlu forecasts that orders could soar to several hundred aircraft. 

Turkish KAAN is able to neutralize a Russian Su-57 in Ukraine
Photo credit: Twitter

Demiroğlu mentions that preliminary data indicate the Turkish Air Force will eventually acquire over 100 KAAN aircraft. Turkish Aerospace Industries is also eyeing international orders. 

“Additionally, we aim to deliver at least the same number, possibly more, to our friendly and allied nations, roughly around 150 units,” stated TAI’s CEO. Ultimately, the company expects to receive orders for about 250-300 fighters, according to Demiroğlu. It’s important to note that these are preliminary plans. 

Turkey begins critical design of KAAN's new nose AESA radar
Video screenshot

Earlier this May, the new Turkish fighter KAAN made its second flight. The previous executive director of TAI, Temel Kotil, had claimed that their fighter would surpass the American fifth-generation F-35 in performance. 

Turkey is energetically promoting the KAAN in the international market. The reason is straightforward—they aim to curb a price hike for the aircraft. If external orders aren’t secured, the cost of a single plane could exceed $100 million, which would be prohibitively expensive for Turkey. 

Potential partners include Azerbaijan, with which Turkey signed a cooperation agreement last summer. Pakistan is also under consideration as a potential partner in this program. 

F-35 is cheaper than the KAAN, which will become more expensive
Photo credit: DIA

In February, Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar announced that Ukraine “will not only buy but also use” Turkish KAAN fighters. He added that “Ukrainian teams are working and competing for the KAAN project” regarding the new engine. However, it should be noted that Turkey prefers to prioritize its own developments. 

For the Turkish Air Force, it’s planned that by 2028, 20 KAAN fighters will be delivered. Beginning in 2030, production rates are expected to significantly ramp up.

About KAAN fighter jet

F-35 is cheaper than the KAAN, which will become more expensive
Photo credit: DIA

The Turkish KAAN fighter, also known as the TF-X, is a fifth-generation multi-role fighter aircraft developed by Turkey. It is designed to perform a variety of missions, including air-to-air combat, air-to-ground strikes, and reconnaissance. The project is spearheaded by Turkish Aerospace Industries [TAI] in collaboration with various national and international partners. 

In terms of dimensions, the KAAN fighter is expected to have a length of approximately 19 meters [62 feet], a wingspan of around 12 meters [39 feet], and a height of about 6 meters [20 feet]. These dimensions place it in a similar size category to other fifth-generation fighters like the F-35 and the Su-57. 

The propulsion system of the KAAN fighter is anticipated to feature twin engines, providing the necessary thrust for high-speed maneuvers and sustained supersonic flight. While the exact engine model has not been definitively confirmed, it is expected to be a high-performance turbofan engine capable of delivering significant thrust and efficiency. 

Spotted: Turkish KAAN stealth also with inverted canopy as on F-35
Photo credit: Star Turkey

The technical characteristics of the KAAN fighter include advanced stealth capabilities, supercruise ability [sustained supersonic flight without afterburners], and highly agile aerodynamics. The aircraft is designed to have a reduced radar cross-section, making it harder to detect and track by enemy radar systems. 

The avionics suite of the KAAN fighter is expected to be state-of-the-art, featuring advanced radar systems, electronic warfare capabilities, and an integrated sensor fusion system. This will allow the pilot to have comprehensive situational awareness and the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously. 

The systems onboard the KAAN fighter will include advanced communication systems, data links, and a sophisticated flight control system. These systems are designed to enhance the aircraft’s operational effectiveness and ensure seamless integration with other assets in a network-centric warfare environment. 

Thousands came to see live the KAAN - the Turkish 5th-gen fighter
Video screenshot

The KAAN fighter will be equipped with a variety of weapons, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, precision-guided bombs, and a built-in cannon. The aircraft will have multiple hardpoints for carrying external weapons and fuel tanks, allowing it to be configured for different mission requirements. 

The operational range of the KAAN fighter is projected to be around 1,200 nautical miles [2,222 kilometers] without refueling. This range can be extended with the use of external fuel tanks or aerial refueling, enabling the aircraft to undertake long-range missions and maintain a persistent presence in the operational theater.


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