Pakistan is constantly working to enhance its military sector. Development is taking place rapidly, and scientists and researchers try to bring something innovative every year. This time Pakistan reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the TAI KAAN, Turkey’s first 5th generation fighter from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
The fighter jet is in its initial phase and will complete its trial phases around 2030.
On the other hand, Pakistan has initiated its local-level development program for a 5th generation fighter under project AZM at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC); it is now come to a halt due to the need for more resources in Industrial infrastructure.
Pakistan Air Force is eager to update its deteriorating equipment. It has requested upgrades to its F-16 fleet numerous times. In contrast, the United States has declined due to pressure from its allies and neighbors, including China.
The Turkish government just got its F-16 fighter plane upgraded locally. Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Aerospace Industries, confirmed that “Pakistan is seen as a potential country capable of locally assembling the TAI KAAN from a kit form. It caters to its requirements as a replacement for American F-16 fighter jets”. In 2019, TAI opened its first flight office in Pakistan at the National Science And Technology Park.
However, over the past few years, Pakistan and Turkey came into one platform to work on defense projects, including drone development and helicopter procurement. Turkish scientists hope they will create a more robust and competitive fighter jet this time. Though, it will take some time as the Turkish manufacturing industry’s main challenges are the engines and avionics, which they constantly work to improve.
It is unlikely Pakistan will significantly contribute to the creation of TAI KAAN itself. Pakistan has an opportunity to avail and can locally assemble the fighter from a completely knocked-down kit once the development phase is done, which is probably in 2030. The innovative approach will leverage Pakistan to assemble its fighter jet while benefiting from Turkey’s expertise in manufacturing and designing the advanced fighter.
Last year, TAI signed a contract with Pakistan National Engineering and Science Commission (NESCOM) to create military drones. Erdogan, President of Turkey, stated,” Turkey is now in every field, on land, in sea and submarine, air and space.”
In addition, he also called it the “Century of the Future” KAAN boasts all technologies and features found in fifth-generation warplanes. It is capable enough to attack air-to-air and air-to-ground targets strategically.