Skip to main content

Erdogan hails take off of Turkey's first supersonic jet

Erdogan hails take off of Turkey’s ‘first domestic manned supersonic jet’
2 min read
26 April, 2023
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hailed the maiden flight of Turkey's first supersonic jet, the Hurjet.
The Hurjet is Turkey's first manned supersonic aircraft [Getty]

Turkey’s first supersonic jet aircraft completed its maiden flight on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s said Tuesday on Twitter.

The Turkish leader said that Hurjet, the country’s "first domestic and national manned supersonic" vehicle, had completed its first flight and shared images of the jet on the ground and in the air.

Turkey has been investing heavily in its domestic weapon and airfield technology amid the global market success of its Bayraktar TB2 drones and other war machinery made popular during the invasion of Ukraine. 

"Thank you. Celebrate the Turkish Century!" Erdogan said in his tweet, in reference to the centenary of the founding of the modern Turkish republic.

The aircraft is the product of a 2017 project launched by the Turkish Aerospace Industries company (TAI). TAI was founded by the Turkish state and is currently owned by state-linked bodies.

The Hurjet was designed to replace older training vehicles and will be used to train recruits who go on to use F-35 jets and other advance jets. 

The new aircraft is 13.4 meters long with a wingspan of 9.5 meters. It can reach supersonic speeds with a single engine. 

Live Story

"The Hurjet project is part of Turkey’s broader efforts to modernise its military and develop indigenous defence technologies," wrote business news agency MENAFN

"[The vehicle] is a testament to Turkey’s growing capabilities in the defence sector, and it is expected to play a significant role in the country’s defence strategy in the years to come," they said. 

Since the early 2000s, Ankara has been strategically building and modernising its defence sector. 

In 2022, Turkey hit a record of $4.4 billion in arms exports - a larger figure than some European countries’ annual defence budget. 

Erdogan, who faces a tough re-election challenge in May, is seeking to increase that figure to $6 billion by the end of this year.