Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has unveiled a prototype of the jet trainer and light combat aircraft — Hurjet, paving the way for the development of the country’s indigenous fighter jets.
The new Hurjet designed with the goal of 5th-generation training aircraft, is the outcome of an advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft project launched last year by TAI. It will have an advanced mission computer in its modern cockpit, company officials say.
In the project, the aircraft’s maximum altitude is set at 45,000 feet, along with its 3,000-kilogram (lb.) payload and a maximum speed of Mach 1.2. The 13.4 meters long aircraft has a wingspan of 11 meters. It is meant to provide environmental security in defense operations.
The aircraft will be equipped with superior radar and sensitive attack systems, and its air and ground communication capabilities are intended to mitigate coercions and risks.
The Hurjet is a jet engine version of the turboprop Hurkus, Turkey’s first indigenous basic trainer aircraft.
TAL officials say the main purpose of the Hurjet project is to substitute Turkish Air Force’s T-38 trainer aircraft built between 1961 and 1972 – currently around 70, as well as cater to export markets.
The Turkish aero-industry has made considerable progress over the last few years with several high-profile projects including the T129 ATAK combat helicopter that is now in service.
The Turkish military will use the Hurjet for training and close-air support missions with the country’s F-16 fighters. In addition to asymmetrical warfare, Turkey’s military is planning to use the Hurjet in border security missions.
The Hurjet aircraft program is expected to be completed by 2022. “We are hoping it will make its first flight in 2023,” a TAI official adds.
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