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Turkey to launch first light combat aircraft in March 2023

17 January 2022 17:10 (UTC+04:00)
Turkey to launch first light combat aircraft in March 2023

By News Center

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) General Manager Temel Kotil has said that TAI will launch the first light combat aircraft (Hurjet) on March 18, 2023, Yeni Shafak newspaper has reported.

“It will make the first flight safely on March 18, 2023. We came to the end of the tunnel, to the exit," Kotil stressed.

The Hurjet prototypes have been produced and they will be introduced in one to two months and four prototypes will be used in flight tests, the general manager added.

“We aim to build six to seven aircraft in the first year in the mass production process and to produce two aircraft per month and 24 aircraft per year from the next year. The Malaysian tender also includes delivery in 2025. After 2025, two Hurjets will leave the hangar and be delivered to the customer every month,” he added.

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

“Hurjet is smaller, less costly, can be done earlier, we have learned on it. They're both supersonic, in the same category, one small and the other big. Our Defene Industry President Ismail Demir told us to do this. This was our first conversation when I took office in 2016... Our Board of Directors supported [the project] and we started [working on] Hurjet,” Kotil said.

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

Underlining that the MMU team grew very fast and exceeded 1,000 engineers, Kotil stated that this number would reach 3000. However, for Hurjet there is no need for such a large team, he added.

"We've done Hurkus, we're finishing Hurjet, and the National Combat Aircraft will follow,” Kotil stressed.

Speaking about their rivals in the field, Kotil stated that nowadays, there is no need for production history for producing cutting-edge aircraft. He added that engineering software is much more capable today and things are easier with artificial intelligence.

“Because when doing a simulation on the computer, there are results that are very close to reality. These are being tested in the wind tunnel. Anyone can do it, but you have to want to do it… We compete with everyone; we are present in every tender. We are also in the Malaysian tender,” Kotil stressed.

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 rival plane for it 10 years later, my plane will be better than it. The method and approaches we use are the same, but there are materials and manufacturing techniques that have changed in 10 years,” Koril emphasized.

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