Turkish TF-X fighter seeks Russian ‘concrete localization systems’
ANKARA, ($1=13.76 Turkish Liras) – Turkey and Russia are cooperating in the development of the next-generation TF-X Turkish fighter jet, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing a statement by Ismail Demir, Head of Turkey’s Defense Industries Presidency.
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Speaking to the Turkish newspaper Milliyet, Ismail Demir said co-operation between the two countries was strong and expected to receive assistance from the Kremlin in developing the Turkish fighter jet. Demir confirmed that Turkey is looking for various solutions, including engines and navigation systems, to make it possible for TF-X to leave the production hangar in 2023 and begin its ground and air tests.
“There are many provisions of cooperation in our talks with Russia. They include issues related to the development of [Turkey’s] national warplanes [TF-X]. Since the TF-X national jet will leave the hangar in 2023, there is a type of engine we have chosen and there are certain systems. But it will undergo phased replacement, development, modernization, and localization of certain systems over time. During this process, talks may be held with the Russian side about concrete localization systems. Today, we are not discussing such a wide range of details,” Demir said.
The news of cooperation between Russia and Turkey was first confirmed in August this year when the director of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation of Russia Dmitry Shugaev said that Ankara and Moscow are in consultations on the development of the Turkish fighter jet.
TF-X is a fighter developed by the Turkish company Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). Various companies are trying to assist Turkish engineers in designing and operating the Turkish fighter jet. We know that British specialists from BAE Systems are involved in the project.
Last year, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed an agreement with software developer HAVELSAN. Under this agreement, HAVELSAN is required to develop software for the Turkish fifth-generation TF-X fighter jet.
In August this year, the Ukrainian company FED signed a contract with the Turkish government for the production of various components related to Atak-2 helicopters. However, it was later confirmed that in addition to components and parts for Attack-2, Ukrainian manufacturers will also make components for the Turkish KF-X fighter, but did not specify which ones. Some experts say Ukraine is ready to provide the Turkish authorities with a fighter jet engine, based on the fact that Ukraine and Turkey are working successfully to develop Ukrainian Bayraktari. We must not forget the provision of Ukrainian engines for Turkish Atak-2 helicopters.
Turkey began developing a Turkish fighter jet project in 2016. It was expected to receive significant support from the United States, as at that time Turkey also decided to participate in the F-35 project by ordering 100 fighters. However, after the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems, the United States expelled Turkey from the F-35 program, and with this action, some American partners gradually began to withdraw from the Turkish TF-X project.
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