The National Jet Fighter Project is the second of four "Key National Defence Projects" announced by the Turkestani government in 1994. After an impressively secretive initial development phase (especially in the post-SNOR era), the first fully-functional prototype was unveiled in March 2008 as the T-9 Boran ("Blizzard") attack fighter. Developed by the Uzbekistan Arms Company, it is expected to enter service in 2009.
*Here, the Boran is the Northrop XP-79, rebalanced without the wing reinforcement of Northrop's plane, which was intended to enable a ramming attack.
The Turkestani government announced its intention to build the Boran as a supplement to the (Russian) Yankov Yan-22 Orel, with the Yan-22 being used in the anti-air/interceptor role by the Guards and the longer-range Boran with the Air Force in a long-range reconnaissance/ground attack/air superiority capacity. Some experts predict that the Yan-22 will only see service with the Turkestani Air Force for as long as it takes their domestic aeroplane-design industry to produce their own single-engined jet interceptor, possibly based on the very successful T-5 Çagaltaı.
The T-9 Boran is an impressive-looking flying fuselage design with the unique characteristic of having the pilot in a prone position allowing him to withstand greater g-forces. It is expected that this will give the Boran greater manoeuvrability, and hence an edge in aerial dogfights. The prone position also gives the pilot excellent vision of the ground, which is expected to be an asset in bombing and ground attack runs.
Primary armament is a pair of forward-firing 20mm espingol cannon located in the wing outside the engines, for a total of 4 20mm cannon. In addition, due to its flying fuselage configuration the Boran can support four additional weapons mounted on underwing pylons; it is thought that these will be for bombs or attack rockets.
The efficient, low-drag flying wing design and prone pilot position mean that the T-9 can be made smaller than most comparable aircraft, while sacrificing nothing in operational range and very little in weapons load. This makes for a very small target profile, especially from the front or from behind, and this, combined with its manoeuverability, means that the T-9 Boran is a plane to be reckoned with.
A much-publicised flyoff against several other jet aircraft, including the Dalmatian Spretu, the Oltenian V-15 Firebolt and the FK's F-9 Sabre Jet was scheduled for the Turkestani International Air Show in October of 2008. The Boran performed admirably, and garnered much interest from a number of foreign militaries over its flying wing design and unusual prone-pilot configuration.
- Engine: 2x Äşinä R17 axial-flow turbojet engines developing 1150 lb thrust each
- Wing-span: 28' 0"
- Length: 14' 0"
- Height: 7' 0"
- Weight: Empty 5840 lb / Loaded 8669 lb
- Maximum Speed: 547 mph in level flight
- Ceiling: 40,000'
- Range: 993 miles (internal fuel), 1360 miles (with drop tanks)
- Crew: 1
- Armament: 4x 20 mm espingol cannons, 4x underwing hardpoints