Array of new defense platforms to crown centennial of Republic of Türkiye
Arrange of new long-awaited platforms, which will be delivered in 2023 when Türkiye marks the 100th anniversary of the Republic, promise to display the latest breakthrough achieved by the lucrative Turkish defense industry.
Aiming to provide security forces with the most advanced equipment developed with indigenous resources under the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), the Turkish defense industry will take critical steps in many projects in about a year.
The National Combat Aircraft (MMU), the most important technology project in the country and carried out by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), will leave the hangar on March 18, 2023.
The TF-X MMU, a fifth-generation jet with similar features to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II, will replace the F-16 jets, which are planned to be phased out by the 2030s. It will make its maiden flight in 2025 and start its duty in 2028.
Türkiye will become one of the countries with the infrastructure and technology to produce a fifth-generation combat aircraft.
Hürjet, a jet trainer and light attack aircraft, will also make its maiden flight on March 18, 2023. It will perform flight tests with four prototypes and will reach the level of being able to perform its first duty in 2025.
Hürjet is designed to play a critical role by using its superior performance features with its single-engine, tandem, and cockpit with a modern avionics suite. It is expected to replace the T-38 jet trainers and F-5 planes.
New chopper, drones
Another important development in this period will be the maiden flight of the heavy-class attack helicopter Atak-2.
The helicopter, which has been specially developed with high ammunition carrying capacity, will be able to operate in all-weather environments in both day and night conditions. The 11-ton chopper will be able to carry 1.2 tons of ammunition and will have a 30-millimeter cannon.
TAI will also make the first delivery of the multipurpose helicopter Gökbey which has a high payload capacity.
The newly designed unmanned fighter jet called the Bayraktar Kızılelma is expected to make its maiden flight in 2023.
The mechanical and avionic integration process continues for two prototypes of Kızılelma, which will be able to stay in the air for five hours and reach an operational altitude of 35,000 feet. It will be capable of carrying approximately 1.5 tons of useful load.
Drone magnate Baykar’s new unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) Bayraktar TB2, capable of taking off from and landing on TCG Anadolu, a multipurpose flagship-to-be amphibious assault ship, will fly in the first half of 2023.
TB3 offers the ability to perform operations with armed unmanned aerial vehicles in overseas missions.
Among others, the maturation tests of the TS1400 turboshaft engine, developed by TUSAŞ Engine Industries (TEI) for use in the Gökbey helicopter, have ended.
It is aimed to be delivered before the end of this year. In the first half of 2023, it is planned to be integrated with the Gökbey before the chopper carries out the first flight with the new engine.
TCG Anadolu, which will be Türkiye’s largest warship, is also preparing to join the inventory, as it is expected to enter service before the end of 2022. Set to become the country’s first native and national aircraft carrier, TCG Anadolu will improve the operational capability of the naval forces.
Built with a full load displacement of 27,436 tons, a length of 231 meters (758 feet), and a width of 32 meters, TCG Anadolu is also known as an “aircraft carrier.” It can be used in the operational areas of the Aegean, Black Sea, and the Mediterranean and when necessary, in the Indian and Atlantic oceans.
The first six submarines under the New Type Submarine Project are planned to be delivered this year. Known as “Type-214” in the world and having air-independent propulsion capability thanks to their fuel cell technology, the submarines will mark the first for the Turkish navy.
Equipped with weapons against underwater, surface and land targets, the platforms are capable of launching many types of torpedoes, missiles, and laying mines.
New land vehicles
New manned and unmanned land vehicles developed within the Turkish defense industry will also be included in the inventory for the first time.
Developed by Turkish defense firm FNSS to meet the amphibious armored vehicle needs of the navy, MAV is among the platforms that will be added to the inventory. It can ensure the safe landing of troops on shore in amphibious operations and serve as armored personnel carriers after landing.
Very few countries in the world have such vehicles in their inventory, and in NATO and its allies, only one company other than the FNSS can produce vehicles of this class.
PARS IV 6X6 Special Operations Vehicle is counting down the days to enter the inventory. Designed by the FNNS, it has high mine and ballistic protection and can carry out special operations with its three different weapon systems.
Vuran, the first modernized armored combat vehicle with an integrated unmanned gun turret, will be delivered in 2023.
The production of the first indigenous tank Altay will be completed after the localization of some subsystems.
Stating that very important stages will be left behind in various projects in a short time, Ismail Demir, the head of the SSB, said: “The breakthrough of our defense industry in recent years has gained the great appreciation of our nation and attracted the attention of the world.”
“Our systems that have a multiplier effect on the ground are being used effectively by our security forces on the ground, and our capabilities in some areas are now considered game-changers,” Demir told Anadolu Agency (AA).
He said that the country will complete many important milestone projects in less than a year.
“We will witness new developments in almost every field of our defense industry,” Demir added.