In the last couple of weeks, the Turkish defence industry firms, and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have revealed an unprecedented number of developments that will bolster the defence posture of the country.
On 18 March 2023, Türk Havacılık ve Uzay Sanayii (TAI, Turkish Aerospace) unveiled the ANKA 3, a stealthy Unmanned Combat Aerial System (UCAS) that is developed as a deep-strike SEAD/DEAD offensive platform which is expected to make its first flight in the second quarter of 2023.
In the artist impressions that were shared about a year ago, one could see a clear resemblance with the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel and the Northrop Grumman X-47B. The ANKA 1 project aircraft are better known as the Anka A/B/I/S versions while the ANKA 2 project yielded the TAI Aksungur.
On the same day, the CEO of Turkish Aerospace Temil Kotil, announced the rollout of the Milli Muharip Uçak (MMU - National Combat Aircraft), also known as the TAI TF-X, stealth twin-engine all-weather air superiority fighter. The aircraft will initially be powered by the General Electric F110 engine (of which some were delivered in 2022) but future developments might include an indigenously developed Tusaş Engine Industries (TEI).
On 27 January 2023, two Motor Sich Ukraine-produced TV3-117VMA-SBM1V-01T Klimov Turbo Shaft Engines were delivered to TUSAS. These engines pave the way to the completion an flight of the first prototype of the TAI T929 ATAK 2 heavy assault helicopter.
After making its rollout of the factory on 23 December 2022, the TAI Hürjet performed its first low-speed taxi test on 18 March 2023. The Hürjet is designed to replace the ageing Northrop T-38M Talon as Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT) and the Northrop NF-5s operated by the Turkish Stars (Türk Yıldızları).
These recent developments, combined with the Sea Trials of the TCG Anadolu (L-400) amphibious assault ship that took place between July and November 2022 which culminated in the first helicopter landings combined with the ongoing and parallel developments of the Bayraktar TB3 and the recent first flight of the Bayraktar Kızılelma (that will be operated out of the TCG Anadolu), can only leave us in awe.
Photos by/via Turkish Aerospace (ANKA 3 and MMU), TRT Haber (Hürjet) and Daily Sabah (T929)