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Erdogan Claims Turkey Is Becoming ‘Global Power’

Erdogan Turkey
“Türkiye is writing an epic in the defense industry,” Erdogan remarked. Credit: Turkish Presidency

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that Turkey is evolving from a regional force to a global power.

Speaking during a rally in the city of Adana in Southern Turkey, Erdogan said “Türkiye is on its way to becoming a global power, not just a regional migration,” he declared. “We are present in Libya and Karabakh. In all these places, Türkiye stands shoulder to shoulder with its brothers and walks confidently on this path.”

“With the help of God and the support of our nation, we have brought all those who oppose Türkiye to their knees,” Erdogan said. “We have never backed down in the face of attempts to invade the country.”

Erdogan lauds Turkey’s defense industry

The Turkish President lauded the country’s strides in the defense industry, noting the domestic production of weapons and the commissioning of short-runway ship TCG Anadolu, Turkey’s first LHD-class vessel.

He revealed plans to build an advanced segment of this ship and disclosed ongoing efforts to construct indigenous production submarines.

The President also cited the successful maiden flight of KAAN, the country’s fifth-generation fighter jet.

TAI KAAN fifth-generation fighter jet for Turkey
A TAI KAAN prototype during the taxiing and ground running tests on March 17, 2023. Credit: Dimir / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAŞ), the warplane features advanced technology developed by ASELSAN, a leading defense firm in Turkey, including an electronic warfare system and a 360-degree electro-optical surveillance system.

The stealth, twin-engine, all-weather air superiority fighter is being produced by Turkish Aerospace Industries with the British multinational BAE Systems acting as sub-contractor.

It will initially be powered by two General Electric F-110 engines, which are also used on fourth-generation Lockheed Martin F-16 jets. Turkey launched its TF-X project to produce a national combat aircraft in 2016.

“Türkiye is literally writing an epic in the field of defense industry,” Erdogan remarked. “Türkiye’s achievements increase our determination and instill self-confidence in friendly countries.”

With high air combat range and supersonic strategic attack capabilities, the KAAN is poised to replace the F-16 in the Air Forces Command’s inventory.

“With KAAN, our country will not only have a fifth generation fighter jet, but also technologies that few countries in the world have,” Haluk Gorgun, head of Turkey’s Defence Industries Directorate (SSB), said in a post on social media platform X.

Providing insight into the aircraft, İsmail Hakkı Pekin, former chief of military intelligence, stated that KAAN’s mass production would take a decade, but once operational, the Turkish Air Force would emerge as “the region’s most formidable air power.”

Experts say KAAN has a decade or so to go before manning the Turkish Air Force squadrons in meaningful numbers.

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