Turkish fighter jet to fly with domestic engine by 2029

Turkey's TF-X National Combat Aircraft (MMU) – a joint project by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) – is preparing for a maiden flight using a domestic engine in 2029, wrirtes Daily Sabah.

TF X Turkish fighter jet to fly with domestic engine by 2029 Mockup of TF-X unveiled at Paris Air Show 2019 (Picture source: Air Recognition)

Work to develop the engine continues at full speed, in cooperation with related institutions, according to Osman Dur, general manager of TR Engine, a new research and development (R&D) center for turboshaft engines. "The engine tests are set to be completed by 2026 or 2027. The MMU's maiden flight with a domestic engine will take place in 2029," he added.

The MMU is a fifth-generation jet with similar features to Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II. The domestically-built aircraft is being developed to replace F-16 Fighting Falcons of the Turkish Air Force and to be exported to foreign air forces. The TF-X fifth-generation aircraft will integrate a stealth fuselage made of advanced carbon composites. Its aerodynamic design will further enhance the high-speed abilities of the aircraft. The aircraft is primarily designed to serve air-to-air combat requirements. Its sleek design and unique features will enable it to be used for air-to-surface roles too.

A mockup of the national combat aircraft was first showcased during Paris Air Show in June 2019.