One of the most eclectic and impressive displays of aircraft at Paris Air Show 2023 came from Turkish Aerospace. The company is aiming to become one of the top 10 of defence contractors over the next decade, according to Professor Temel Kotil, President and CEO of the company.

“I have 15,000 employees who are all young, they’re all interested, they’re designing, building and testing so hopefully it is possible,” he explained.

One of the most prominent aircraft of the Turkish Aerospace static display was the Hürjet advanced jet trainer, which is currently undertaking test flights and is due to go into commercial operation by 2025.

Future Turkish workforce

Professor Kotil explained how the company is addressing the challenge of skills shortages. “In Turkey there are a couple of mechanisms [to inspire young to join the aviation sector]. Teknofest, led by the president’s son-in-law, is the fair every year that really attracts the elementary schools,” he said.

Turkish Aerospace also provides internships for engineers and last year it hired 1,600 additional engineers and this year it has already hired 1,000 engineers. “We have a mechanism to attract, to train them and they build these things [the Hürjet].”

Next-gen fighter

The company is also working the Kaan 5th generation fighter, which will begin flying in December 2023 following some improvements on the subsystems such as the flight controls and landing gear. “We are delivering 20 by 2028 to the airforces and by the early 2030s it will become the cutting edge [of military aircraft design].”

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