The new Qan fighter carried out its first flight from an air base north of Ankara (Reuters)

The Qan aircraft, the first locally-made Turkish fighter, successfully completed its maiden flight today, Wednesday, according to what was announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who confirmed that his country had completed a “very important” stage in the production of fifth-generation fighters.

The Turkish Aerospace Industries Corporation broadcast a video clip showing the Qan fighter plane taking off and then returning to an air base north of Ankara.

Erdogan said, "Today we lived one of the proud days of the Turkish defense industries with the success of the first flight of our national combat aircraft Qan."

The Turkish President added - in a speech he delivered before a public gathering in Afyonkarahisar Province, western Turkey - that his country "today has passed a very important stage in the production of its fifth generation fighter aircraft."

On the other hand, the head of the Turkish Defense Industries Agency, Haluk Gurgun, said - in a post on the X platform - that “with Qaan, our country will not only have a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, but also technologies that are only available in a few countries in the world.”

Erdogan confirmed that his country has completed an important stage on the path to producing fifth generation fighters (Anatolia)

The new fighter will initially be powered by two General Electric F-110 engines, which are also used in the American F-16 fourth generation fighters produced by Lockheed Martin.

But Gorgon explained that Turkey seeks to produce locally-made engines to power the Qaan fighter, and this is expected to begin in 2028.

In 2016, Turkey launched a project called “TFX” to produce locally made fighter aircraft.

In 2017, the Turkish Aerospace Industries Company signed a deal with the British company BAE Systems worth $125 million to produce new generation fighter aircraft.

On the other hand, Ankara recently concluded a deal to purchase 40 F-16 fighter aircraft from the United States, in addition to 79 modernization equipment for its current fleet of F-16 fighters, after long delays.

The United States excluded Turkey from the F-35 fighter program - in which it was a manufacturer and buyer - in 2020, claiming that Ankara had purchased the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

Source: Agencies