Turkey to launch first light combat aircraft in March 2023


January 17, 2022 5:10 p.m. (UTC+04:00)


By News Center

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Managing Director Temel Kotil said TAI will launch the first light fighter jet (Hurjet) on March 18, 2023, Yeni Shafak newspaper reported.

“It will make the first safe flight on March 18, 2023. We have reached the end of the tunnel, at the exit,” Kotil stressed.

Hurjet prototypes have been produced and will be introduced in one to two months and four prototypes will be used in flight tests, the chief executive added.

“Our goal is to build six to seven aircraft in the first year in the series production process and produce two aircraft per month and 24 aircraft per year from the following year. The Malaysian tender also calls for delivery in 2025. After 2025, two Hurjets will leave the hangar and be delivered to the customer each month,” he added.

He pointed out that the production of a training aircraft was planned before the National Combat Aircraft (MMU) and that it was named Hurjet as the continuation of the Hurkus (basic training and ground attack aircraft ).

“Hurjet is smaller, cheaper, can be done sooner, we learned. They are both supersonic, in the same category, one small and the other large. Our President of Defense Industry, Ismail Demir, told us to do it. This was our first conversation when I took office in 2016… Our Board supported [the project] and we started [working on] Hurjet,” Kotil said.

He noted that two different deputy general managers are working on the projects and they are in constant communication.

Pointing out that the MMU team grew very quickly and exceeded 1,000 engineers, Kotil said the number would reach 3,000. However, for Hurjet, there is no need to have such a large team, said he added.

“We’ve finished Hurkus, we’ve finished Hurjet, and the national fighter will follow,” Kotil said.

Talking about their rivals in the field, Kotil said that today there is no need for production history to produce advanced aircraft. He added that engineering software is much better today and things are easier with artificial intelligence.

“Because when you do a computer simulation, you get results that are very close to reality. These are tested in the wind tunnel. Anyone can do it, but you have to want to do it… We are in competition with everyone; we are present in every call for tenders. We are also in the Malaysian tender,” Kotil pointed out.

He pointed out that Hurjet is developed and produced with the latest technologies compared to its competitors.

“If a plane was designed 10 years ago and I design a competing plane 10 years later, my plane will be better than him. The method and approaches we use are the same, but there are materials and manufacturing techniques that have changed in 10 years,” Koril pointed out.

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