Turkey produced the mission computer for its 5th-gen aircraft
ANKARA ($1=18.63 Turkish Liras) — Turkey has produced the mission computer of its fifth-generation fighter jet. This is clear from a post on Twitter by the account International Defense Analysis. In the post announcing the development and delivery of the mission computer for the aircraft, photos of the finished integrated circuits of the computer were shared.
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“5th generation National Combat Aircraft [MMU] mission computer successfully produced by TÜBİTAK BİLGEM and delivered to TAI,” the tweet said. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that on November 26, Turkey revealed the work on the production of the first prototype of the Turkish fifth-generation TF-X aircraft.
The mission computer is essential to the functioning of the TF-X. It will have to perform encrypted data transfer. Turkey has experience in developing its own mission computer, especially in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles. The Turkish mission computer will have a radar receiver, which sources say was developed by the Turkish company Aselsan. In the future, when the aircraft flies and is put into operational readiness, the mission computer in the TF-X cockpit will control the fire control system, the laser warning system, the dosing system, and the silencing system.
TF-X will be powered by two engines is clear from the published photos. Also, the body of the TF-X is already assembled. The prototype will be powered by American GE F110 engines. These engines power a large number of two famous American fighter jets, the F-15E Strike Eagle and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. However, Turkey is developing its own engine.
According to local analysts and sources in the Turkish defense industry, the Turkish engine will have to approach the characteristics of the GE F110. However, there are other opinions about the future engine, the most popular being that if Turkey fails to develop its own engine, it may agree with the US to manufacture the GE F110 under patent.
The first flight of the first TF-X prototype should take place in 2025, according to the manufacturer’s plans, following the plans of the Turkish Air Force and the Ministry of Defense.
The display of the mission computer is the second piece of good news in the TF-X project after the display of the assembled airframe. In this way, Ankara is showing the world and its partners, as well as possible future customers, that despite the initial difficulties, Turkey is determined to produce the aircraft and at least get to prototype testing.
If it is good news for Turkey, the progress on the TF-X is bad news for the partners in the arms business, especially the US. Turkey has decided to develop its own fighter jet to reduce foreign influence on arms supplies to the Turkish military, as well as to begin a gradual modernization of its air fleet. For the most part, this air fleet is made up of American F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.
The progress in the production of the TF-X prototype is good news for Pakistan as well. Pakistan is a participant in the project and this became clear in February this year when Temel Kotil, executive director of Turkish Aerospace Industries [TUSAS], and Rizvan Riaz, vice marshal of the Pakistan Air Force [PAF] confirmed that Pakistan was already involved.
Details about the cooperation between the two countries, both then and now, have not yet been revealed. But Turkey says the new TF-X will follow the principles and operational requirements of the two countries air forces. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Pakistan also operates a certain number of American F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters. Pakistan will contribute to the development and production of the TF-X with its experience over the past decade in the development and joint production of China’s JF-17 Thunder.
Problems in the past
However, the TF-X went through many obstacles to get to where it is today. Turkey had a strong desire for TF-X to become really long before today’s date. The main problem was the engine, which had to be German in the first place. But Germany, subsequently the US, imposed an embargo on arms supplies to Turkey. First because of the proxy conflict between Turkey and Greece, then because of the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems from Moscow. In reality, the two GE F110 engines that will power the prototype were not purchased now, but long before the S-400 arrived on Turkish soil.
Gradually, however, the differences are smoothed out. Washington is on the verge of allowing Ankara to purchase at least 40 F-16 Block 70 fighters, as well as to upgrade a large number of Turkey’s F-16 inventory.
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