First Prototype Of Turkish KAAN National Combat Aircraft Conducts Second Test Flight

TF Kaan
The TF Kaan during the second test flight (TAI)

The development of the Turkish 5th generation aircraft, slated to replace the F-16 in 2030s, continues.

The prototype of the Turkish Kaan National Combat Aircraft, carried out its second test flight on May 6, 2024.

“Our National Combat Aircraft, which successfully made its first flight on February 21, took off from the runway at 08.46 this morning, stayed in the air for 14 minutes and reached an altitude of 10,ooo feet”, Haluk Gorgun, the Secretary of Turkish Defence Industries, announced on X.

“I wholeheartedly congratulate all our companies, employees, and institutional personnel who contributed to the project, especially our Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) engineers, pilots and technical team,” he said, adding praise to the efforts of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for achieving such a success together with the country.

“With confident steps towards mass production, our skies are in safe hands with our local and national technologies!”

The prototype of the KAAN was escorted by an F-16D acting as safety chase, exactly as happened during the first flight last February. By the way, the second flight came 75 after the maiden one.


The indigenous aircraft design developed by the Turkish Aerospace Industries’ Engineering Center aims to replace the Turkish F-16 fleet by the 2030s. The first model of the aircraft, unveiled in 2019, bears striking resemblance to advanced aircraft like the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. The prototype was rolled out in March 2023, showcasing Turkey’s commitment to advanced aerospace development.

Details about the Kaan’s specifications are limited, but it is anticipated to achieve a top speed of Mach 1.8, reach a service ceiling of 55,000 feet, and be powered by two F110-GE129 engines, similar to those used in Turkish F-16Cs Block 50, delivering 58,000 pounds of thrust. Kaan is designed to integrate seamlessly with the Turkish Air Force’s existing assets, theoretically also the F-35, should Turkey be readmitted in the JSF program.

The development of Kaan represents one of the most ambitious programs undertaken by Turkey in recent years. While Turkish industries have demonstrated expertise in various fields, such as successful drone design and production, and licensed manufacturing of various aircraft types, creating a fully indigenous fifth-generation fighter jet presents a unique and challenging endeavor that underscores Turkey’s aspirations for advanced aerospace capabilities.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.