Retired Colonel Eray Güçlüer says Turkey's new fighter jet is even better than the American F-35!

F-35 Turkey

Although the devastating earthquake has to some extent (remains to be seen...) alleviated Turkish revisionism, Anakara does not stop praising the advances made by their defence industry.

And not without reason, of course, as last year they exceeded $4.4 billion in exports of military equipment, while for 2023 they intend to reach $6 billion. We are talking about very large numbers that certainly worry countries with a tradition in the defence industry.

The big project that is running, however, is the Turkish "fifth generation", the so-called TF-X. A few days ago, the prototype managed to do its first flight under its own power, i.e. with two engines borrowed from an F-16.

The event was not accompanied by the corresponding celebrations and wreaths, as the earthquake changed Erdogan's priorities. But this does not prevent several Turkish analysts from raving about the capabilities of their own plane.

One of them, retired colonel Eray Güçlüer, went so far as to state that the 5th Generation National Aircraft (MMU) will have performance characteristics even higher than the F-35, according to News Auto.

In fact, he claimed that the specific plane will be able to handle other aircraft produced in Turkey, such as the various drones. While in close air combat it will be even better than the F-35, as the American 5th generation is not good in this area.

Beyond the exaggerations, the MMU is a project that is going through several difficulties at this stage, mainly in relation to the engines but also its electronic systems.


The Turks have announced that it will replace the aging F-16s by the end of the decade, although the forecasts are probably highly optimistic. Especially when we're talking about a twin-engine plane, trying to take cues from both the F-35 and the much more complex - and expensive - F-22.

A fighter jet, especially a 5th or even 4.5 generation one, is a highly complex platform, which needs many years of research, development and -mostly- testing in order to certify that it is ready for action.

Even the largest aircraft producing countries need at least a decade to make an aircraft operational, much more when we are talking about 5th generation.

Of course, this should not make the Greek side complacent, which should speed up the procedures for the acquisition of the F-35, without deviations and without the issue becoming the subject of a political confrontation before or after the elections.

The truth is, whether we like it or not, Turkey is rapidly turning into a major producer of advanced weapon systems of all kinds. And as funny as it may seem at the moment for Turkey to compare their plane with the F-35, time always works in their favour.

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