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As wars rage, Turkey's military industry sees boom in fighter jets, drone sectors

While the MMU Kaan that is slated to become Turkey’s first stealthy fifth-generation fighter is taking baby steps, other key Turkish military aviation projects have also begun attracting international attention.
Turkish air force fighter jets perform a military parade over the Bosphorus as Camlica mosque is seen in the background to mark the 100th anniversary of Turkish Republic in Istanbul on Oct. 29, 2023.

ANKARA — While public attention largely focuses on systems such as Bayraktar TB2 and National Jet Fighter (MMU) “Kaan,” Turkish aviation projects are slowly but surely entering the spotlight, with experts arguing that four of them will be critical for Turkey’s future military operations.

In addition to Kaan, which performed its second flight on April 6 — after its maiden flight on Feb. 21 — Turkey is working on more than a dozen military aviation projects, with experts pointing to three critical ones: the Anka-3 stealth unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Hurjet by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS) and the Kizilelma and TB3 UAVs by Baykar.

According to a well-connected Turkish aviation industry expert, the country’s location, lying in a tumultuous region, is the main driver of ambitious projects. “It might look like we are trying to do too much with too little amid an economic crisis, and that might sound crazy,” he told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “But our [country’s] geography is forcing us to pursue all our military aviation projects. We need everything — Kaan, Hurkus, Hurjet, ANKA-3, ATAK helicopters, utility helicopters, naval patrol aircraft and a much larger and more modern cargo fleet.”

TUSAS Hurjet

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