Turkish TF-X Fighter Jet Project Progress

  • Our Bureau
  • 12:44 PM, May 3, 2020
  • 6651
Turkish TF-X Fighter Jet Project Progress
Turkey's TF-X mock-up at Paris Air Show 2019

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has signed an agreement with software firm HAVELSAN to carry out software development and embedded training among others  to speed up development of the TF-X National Combat Aircraft (Milli Muharip Uçak, MMU) program.

The agreement was announced by Dr. İsmail Demir, the President of the Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries (“Savunma Sanayii Başkanı”, SSB). It covers Embedded Training, Training and Maintenance Simulators and engineering support (Virtual Test Environment, project-level software development, and cybersecurity).

Demir’s statement which came as part of how his country’s defence industry was coping with the COVID-19 pademic, did not  specify when the agreement was signed.

“When the National Combat Aircraft Development project is completed, our country will be among the countries with the infrastructure and technology that can produce a 5th generation combat aircraft,” Demir said.

The TF-X (Turkish Fighter – Experimental) is a proposed twin-engine all-weather air superiority fighter being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)/Türk Havacılık ve Uzay Sanayii A.Ş. (TUSAŞ, “Turkish Aviation and Space Industry”) with technological assistance from BAE Systems.

Turkish TF-X Fighter Jet Project Progress
Rolls Royce fighter jet engine (image for reference)

TAI unveiled a full-scale mock-up of its Turkish Fighter (TF) at the Paris Air Show 2019. The aircraft is planned to replace F-16 Fighting Falcon jets of the Turkish Air Force and exported to friendly countries. The aircraft is scheduled to make its first flight by 2025 and enter service by 2028.

TAI invited Malaysia to join the TF-X, following Ankara’s suspension from the U.S.-led F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Aerospace Industries, said in Janaury this year he is now awaiting Malaysia’s reply. Last year, TAI signed a memorandum of understanding with the Asian nation for the co-production of TF-X composites.

The project is expected to face delays following pressure from the United States on TAI’s European partners  such as BAE Systems and Rolls Royce to abandon partnering with TAI.

In addition, TAI has selected Dassault Systeme to  provide flight control software for the project.

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