The prototype of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) TF-X fifth-generation fighter jet has been photographed performing taxi tests.
It is the first time the jet has been caught on camera since the end of its assembly, ahead of the official unveiling, which is expected on March 18, 2023.
The pictures of the aircraft were first shared by a local defense news website SavunmaSanayiST.com.
The website also noted that during the test the aircraft moved under its own power, marking a successful integration of its General Electric F110 engines.
TAI started assembly of the TF-X, also known as the National Combat Aircraft (MMU), some time in mid-2022.
In early 2023, a number of images from an assembly line showed the aircraft nearing completion.
Development of the TF-X began in 2010 before experiencing assorted interruptions and delays. However, the process accelerated significantly in 2019 after Turkey was excluded from the F-35 program.
According to TAI, the TF-X will be a fifth-generation fighter jet with stealthy design, an active electronically scanned array (AESA), supercruise and other advanced features.
It is set to replace Turkish Air Force’s aging McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II jets and compliment the fourth-generation general Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons.