Turkey is speeding up the process to choose a conceptual trainer alongside plans to build an indigenous fighter jet, Hurryet Daily News reported Tuesday.
Turkish officials said the twin crashes were a forceful reminder of a pressing need “to go faster” in selecting a fighter aircraft model based on which Turkey would also build a trainer.
“The new trainer will be constructed to cater for the chosen fighter model,” one senior official said. “The top [defense procurement] management is aware of a need to go faster with both programs. They will go with a ‘priority’ tag.” he added.
Turkey is looking for a commercially available fighter model to build its indigenous program on. It will then build an aircraft to train its pilots for the TX-F, the Turkish fighter.
Military officials say that ideally by 2017, the Turkish trainer fleet will comprise screeners, the Korean-made KT-1, the Turkish-made Hürkuş, the upgraded T-38 (T-38T) and the F-16.
By 2025, the trainer fleet will have the screeners, the Hürkuş, the indigenous trainer designed and developed for the fighter Turkey intends to build, the TF-X, and a combination of the F-16s, TF-Xs and F-35s.
To augment its trainer aircraft fleet, Turkey has signed a deal with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) to buy 10 Hürkuş trainers, but is also pushing for a follow-on order from Korean Aerospace Industries for 15 KT-1s in an approximately $150 million deal.