Official: Turkish engine, not F110, will power stealth TF-X fighter
ANKARA ($1=17.50 Turkish Liras) — Turkish authorities have opened a competition to develop an engine that will power the future stealth TF-X fifth-generation combat aircraft. The process is limited to Turkish manufacturers, two of which, Tusas Engine Industries and TR Motor, have responded to the request for proposals, according to the country’s military procurement body, known by its acronym SSB.
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In addition, the alliance that the British manufacturer Rolls Royce and the local industrial conglomerate Kale Group have created under the name TAEC, of which the Turkish side controls the majority, 51%, is expected to participate in the tender, according to Defense News.
The chosen one must ensure that the production of the engine will take place in Turkey, where the intellectual property rights will also remain, and that it will not be able to restrict export licenses, in addition to achieving a good degree of profitability, according to SSB head Ismail Demir.
The American F110 engine
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that at the beginning of June, a General Electric F110 after-burning turbofan jet engine produced by GE Aviation was delivered to Turkey. Back in June, BulgarianMilitary.com announced that the American engine is coming to Turkey to power the TF-X fighter, but as we wrote back then, this engine will only be used to power the prototype. Turkey has no intention of using an American-made engine in the serial production of the TF-X next-generation fighter.
According to open sources, the F110 engine will be running at full speed on the prototype aircraft next year before the start of summer. The TF-X powered by the F110 engine is expected to make its first flight in mid-March.
As we reported back in June, although it is not known if one or more F110 engines are currently delivered to Turkey, they will have to be delivered at least 10 units of this engine model for test activities.
Without F-35, but with TF-X
With the aircraft, developed in its TF-X program, Ankara intends to replace its current fleet of F-16 fighter jets, manufactured by the US company Lockheed Martin, which it plans to decommission by 2030.
According to publicly available data, the TF-X will be equipped with two engines, which according to Turkish experts will have a thrust of 9 tons each, which will allow the aircraft to reach speeds of Mach 2. The TF-X should be able to fly at 16,700 meters, to be 19 meters long, and its wingspan to reach 12 meters.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Turkey was thrown out of the F-35 program after it did not want to buy the American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system and decided to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system. After the purchase was made and Ankara carried out the first tests of the system, as well as activated it in combat readiness, Washington imposed economic sanctions on the Turkish state.
However, Turkey intends to buy a second batch of S-400 air defense systems from Russia, with “rumors” that Ankara is ready to jointly produce with Moscow the S-500 system – the latest and much more dangerous and effective variant of an anti-aircraft missile system capable of reaching low-orbit satellites.
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