Turkey’s next-generation indigenous TF-X fighter jet was officially unveiled on Monday at the Paris Air Show, AINonline aviation news site reported.
Turkey’s TF-X project, a $13 billion effort to be able to offer a fifth-generation fighter to the international market, is aiming for first flight in 2025 and to enter service in 2028.
The full-scale mock-up of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) TF-X fighter jet arrived on the same day that France and Germany revealed of the model of their collaborative offering for a sixth-generation fighter at the show, the site said.
“We have promised to our nation that this will be the best fighter in Europe,” it quoted Temel Kotil, president and CEO of TAI, as saying. “As well as Turkey, hopefully, this will also be a good fighter option for European allies.”
TAI’s experience on international defence programs such as the A400M and F-35 proves the manufacturing capabilities of the Turkish defence industry, Kotil told the aviation site.
Turkey has signed an agreement with the UK in 2017 to facilitate the joint development the aircraft, it said, noting that BAE Systems is helping with the aircraft design, while Rolls-Royce teamed with Turkey’s Kale Group to work on the development of an indigenous engine for the TF-X.
The British propulsion developer earlier this year announced it had scaled back its involvement due to an intellectual property transfer dispute, and had, along with Kale, proposed revised terms to the Turkish government.
Ankara is looking to use U.S. General Electric F110 for its first TF-X aircraft, however, it may have trouble acquiring the engines as the United States has threatened to expel Turkey from the F-35 programme as a result of its planned purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system.