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TAI, Aselsan sign preliminary agreement for TF-X development


By Nathan Gain

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Aselsan signed a preliminary agreement on April 26 for the development of Turkey's future National Fighter Jet, the TF-X. The deal was signed during the first edition of Eurasia Air Show, held this week in Antalya.


TAI Aselsan sign preliminary agreement for TF X development 001 Turkey's TF-X fighter jet provisional design showcased by TAI at IDEF 2017


Under this agreement, the two partners will develop advanced system for the future fighter jet, such as indigenous radar, electronic warfare and and electro-optical systems, TAI said on its Twitter account.  

The TF-X preliminary design phase received a $1.18Bn budget. The project will involve up to 3,200 people and will be achieved in partnership with BAE Systems, TAI General Manager Temel Kotil said.

"We have foreseen a four-year period for the preliminary design phase. In this phase, the structure of the plane will be determined. The development of engineering, technology, testing infrastructures and certification processes of the aircraft and the acquisition of capability for the design of the fighter jet are steps of this phase," Kotil said.

He also explained that the first TF-X prototype should be ready for its first flight in 2023.

First delivery to TurAF is planned for 2029 and will continue until 2039. Turkey’s need for the TF-X fighter jet would be 100-150 aircraft.First delivery to TurAF is planned for 2029 and will continue until 2039. Turkey’s need for the TF-X fighter jet would be 100-150 aircraft.

The TF-X indigenous design and development program prime contract between Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) of Ministry of Turkish National Defence and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has been signed on August 5th, 2016.

According to TAI, the TF-X fighter jet will be a single seat multi-role aircraft mainly designed for air-to-air role with a consideration for air-to-surface capability as well. It will feature stealth and super cruise capabilities, as well as new generation avionics, such as AESA radar.

Upon engineering analysis, preliminary studies, based on information received from engines manufacturers, the TF-X would have a twin-engine configuration. In this regard, an initial agreement has been signed between TAI and BAE Systems on January 28th, 2017, in the presence of Prime Ministers of Turkey and UK. Two companies are actually bidding for the TF-X engines: GE Aviation with the F414-GE-400 and Eurojet with a improved version of the EJ-200 engine.

Once the TF-X fighter aircraft developed, the ambition of the Tukish industry would be its exportability to key allies and friendly countries.