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Turkey plots flightpath for development of TFX fighter

Posted 10 August 2018 · Add Comment

Turkey is pushing ahead with its ambitious plans to develop and deploy an indigenous fifth-generation fighter, known as the TF-X or Milli Muharebe Uçağı (national combat aircraft).

On January 13 this year, Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, chief procurement officer, Ismail Demir, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) CEO, Temel Kotil, and other senior officials, met with a high-level British delegation, including International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, and Rolls-Royce CEO, Warren East, to discuss how to progress the project.
They set out development roadmaps and timescales, including the ambitious goal of achieving a maiden test flight in 2023.
Yildirim reportedly expressed his satisfaction with the “recent advancing of our strategic partnership with the United Kingdom via joint programmes”.
The TF-X programme was launched in December 2010, when the Turkish defence industry executive committee (SSIK) decided to design, develop, and manufacture an indigenous next-generation combat aircraft to replace the F-16 and augment the F-35, placing a $20 million two-year conceptual design contract with TAI.
British involvement in the programme began in October 2015, when Rolls-Royce signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkey. This eventually led to the TAEC Uçak Motor Sanayi AS joint venture with Turkish industrial group Kale, which will establish an advanced manufacturing and technology centre in Turkey to produce engines for the TF-X, and for helicopters, tanks and missiles.
No TF-X engine decision has been made and Tusas Engine Industries (TEI), which is co-owned by TAI (50.5%), General Electric (46.2%) and the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation and Turkish Aeronautical Association (3.3%), has also submitted an engine proposal to the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM).
SSM awarded TAI the TF-X indigenous design and development programme prime contract on August 5 2016 and, in January 2017, awarded BAE Systems a four-year £100 million contract under which it will provide TAI with 400 man-years of engineering consultation and technical support work.
The TAI-BAE systems collaboration agreement came into effect on August 25 2017. BAE is expected to receive further contracts to support TF-X development following a meeting between Yıldırım and his British counterpart, Theresa May, in Ankara on January 28.
 

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