Turkey’s TF-X National Combat Aircraft (MMU) fifth generation stealth fighter jet left its hangar late Friday.
"We said that we will take our National Combat Aircraft out of the hangar on March 18. Our plane is on the runway today!," Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) Chairperson Ismail Demir said on Twitter, referring to the 108th anniversary of Turkey’s naval victory on the Gallipoli peninsula.
Developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the TF-X MMU has the technologies and features found in fifth-generation warplanes. It will provide the opportunity to strategically attack air-to-air and air-to-ground targets. It has a completely domestic infrastructure for secure data sharing and the use of smart munitions.
TF-X’s size is somewhat in-between U.S.’ F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F-22 Raptor, with an overall length of 60 feet and a wingspan of 39 feet.
The MMU aircraft is planned to be kept operational in the Turkish Air Force inventory until 2070s and will be interoperable with other critical assets such as F-16.
The TF-X MMU comes with an improved radar, electronic warfare, electro-optics, communication, navigation and identification capability. It also has automatic target recognition and detection, multiple data fusion and artificial intelligence capabilities.
The Turkish-developed fighter will replace the F-16 aircraft in the inventory of the Air Forces Command, which are planned to be phased out starting in the 2030s.