Russia has expressed interest in developing an aircraft engine for the TF-X, Turkey’s first locally-developed fighter jet.
“There is a Russian interest in this regard, but it is too premature to say if the idea would gain further ground,” the Defense News website quoted a Turkish procurement official as saying.
The development of an engine for the TF-X could be undertaken by the Russian defence conglomerate Rostec. A director of the company told press at the Eurasia Air Show in the southern Turkish city of Antalya that a proposal for an engine was being put together.
A Turkish diplomat said Turkey’s political ties with Russia were “excellent,” adding that the current political ties paved the way for deeper military and procurement cooperation.
Earlier this year, the Turkish government earmarked an initial investment of 4.817 billion liras (U.S. $1.178 billion) on the conceptual design phase of the TF-X program. The investment plan has been taken under a government incentive scheme.
Two of Turkey’s largest defence firms, Aselsan and Turkish Aerospace Industries, have already signed a memorandum agreeing to share work on the project, for the design of which the Turkish government has earmarked $1.178 billion.
“After formal go-ahead from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the program would race ahead, procurement officials say. The TF-X and other major indigenous development programs are Erdogan’s pet projects,” said the article.
The choice of engine will be made in the next phase of the project after the conceptual design is complete.