ANKARA, ($1=13.77 Turkish Liras) – The Turkish aviation industry reinforced its ambitions on Thursday with the opening of several new facilities which, among other things, will lay the basics for the development of a national stealth fighter jet, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing FlugRevue.
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In the presence of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, there was an “Opening and Promotion Ceremony for National Technologies and New Investments” in the evening. Specifically, it was about four new facilities:
1) The engineering center is the heart of the national fighter aircraft project [Milli Muharip Uçak/MMU]. 2300 people will work here. The building covers an area of 65 thousand square meters. The MMU Engineering Center was built with an investment of TL 220 million [approx. US $ 16.3 million]. In addition to the MMU, the Hürjet jet trainer is currently being developed, the prototype of which should be ready by March 2023. As for the MMU, Erdogan said it will “make its maiden flight in 2025” and “take its place in the sky as part of our air force in 2029 after the testing and qualification processes”.
2) The largest production building for composite materials in Turkey and its ancillary facilities, in which around TL 412 million [approx. US $ 30 million] has been invested. It consists of 19 blocks, including the main production, paint shop, and ancillary buildings. 150 engineers and 850 technicians will work at this important location, which can cover two percent of the global market for composite materials for air structures.
3) The center for space systems technology, which was established for design activities and hardware products in the space sector and on which a total of 718 people will work, includes areas such as clean rooms and hardware and software laboratories. Investment volume: 31 million TL [approx. US $ 2.2 million].
4) The component maintenance and repair center, where the parts of the aircraft are maintained, repaired, and overhauled. With more than 500 engineers, this center is supposed to meet an important need of the industry and reduce the independence from foreign suppliers. Here the investment was 53 million TL [approx. US $ 3.8 million] .
In addition, 16 new facilities were opened in the so-called Organized Industrial Zone [OIZ] of Ankara Aerospace, which carries out its activities on an area of 730 hectares right next to TAI. The aim here is to support the domestic aerospace and aerospace industries, bring local and foreign companies together to create synergies, manufacture products with high added value, and increase exports.
According to the Minister of National Defense, Hulusi Akar, a “national technology movement” is essential for “our sovereignty and independence as well as for the geopolitical and strategic position of our country. Turkey is no longer a consumer but a producer [of armaments material]”. One can “satisfy not only one’s own needs but also the needs of friendly, fraternal and allied countries” and thus “influence the balance of power in international relations”.
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