Turkey’s TF-X next-generation indigenous fighter was officially unveiled at the Paris Air Show.
The full-scale mock-up of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) TF-X fighter jet arrived on the same day that France and Germany revealed of model of their collaborative offering for a sixth-generation fighter at the show, the site said.
The mockup of Turkey's first national combat jet — the Turkish Aerospace Industries' (TAI)-developed TF-X made debut on Monday at the Paris Air Show, the largest aerospace-industry event in the world.https://t.co/nGGKwx7MD8 pic.twitter.com/tdDeFEhVw1
— ANews (@anewscomtr) June 17, 2019
Turkey’s TF-X project, a $13 billion effort to be able to offer a fifth-generation fighter to the international market, is aiming for first flight in 2025 and to enter service in 2028.
— Mustafa Alperen YILDIRIM (@Must_Alperen) June 17, 2019
The aircraft mock-up looks inspired by the F-35 and has several design cues to suggest so. However, it has twin-engines compared to the American jet’s single engine.
“We have promised to our nation that this will be the best fighter in Europe,” said Temel Kotil, president and CEO of prime contractor Turkish Aerospace. “As well as Turkey, hopefully this will also be a good fighter option for European allies.”
TAI’s experience on international defence programs such as the A400M and F-35 proves the manufacturing capabilities of the Turkish defence industry, Kotil told the aviation site.
The Turkish government has earmarked an initial investment of 4.817 billion liras (U.S. $1.178 billion) on the conceptual design phase of the TF-X program, a government source had said in early 2018.
Turkey and the United Kingdom signed a MoU during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the UK on May 13-15, 2018 to develop the national fighter jet, preliminarily designated as TF-X. BAE Systems and Rolls Royce are expected to partner with TAI in developing a twin-engine jet.
In addition that TAI has selected the 3DEXPERIENCE software platform of Dassault Systèmes of France to accelerate the development of the TF-X aircraft.
Turkey has signed an agreement with the UK in 2017 to facilitate the joint development the aircraft, it said, noting that BAE Systems is helping with the aircraft design, while Rolls-Royce teamed with Turkey’s Kale Group to work on the development of an indigenous engine for the TF-X.
The British propulsion developer earlier this year announced it had scaled back its involvement due to an intellectual property transfer dispute, and had, along with Kale, proposed revised terms to the Turkish government.
Ankara is looking to use U.S. General Electric F110 for its first TF-X aircraft, however, it may have trouble acquiring the engines as the United States has threatened to expel Turkey from the F-35 programme as a result of its planned purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system.