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IDEF 2017: Turkey progressing towards TF-X next-gen fighter jet development

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - Turkey
 
 
IDEF 2017: Turkey progressing towards TF-X next-gen fighter jet development
 
The Turkish Air Force (TurAF) is now fully commited to its next-generation fighter aircraft program. Along with the acquisition of F-35A Lighting II fighter jets, the TF-X program has been launched to meet TurAF requirements beyond 2030s.
     
IDET TF X fighter jet 640 002Turkey's TF-X fighter jet provisional design showcased by TAI at IDEF 2017
(Credit: TAI)
     
Launched by the Turkish Government to replace the TurAF aging fleet of F-16C/D fighter jets, the TF-X program is planned to be kept operational in the Air Force inventory until 2070s and will be interoperable with other critical platforms such as the F-35A.

The TF-X first prototype would take to the skies in 2023. First delivery to TurAF is planned for 2029 and will continue until 2039. Turkey’s need for the TF-X fighter jet would be 100-150 aircraft.

The TF-X indigenous design and development program prime contract between Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) of Ministry of Turkish National Defence and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has been signed on August 5th, 2016.

     
IDEF 2017 Turkey progressing towards TF X next gen fighter jet development 640 005Turkey's TF-X fighter jet provisional design showcased on BAE Systems booth at IDEF 2017
     

According to TAI, the TF-X fighter jet will be a single seat multi-role aircraft mainly designed for air-to-air role with a consideration for air-to-surface capability as well. It will feature stealth and super cruise capabilities, as well as new generation avionics, such as AESA radar.

Upon engineering analysis, preliminary studies, based on information received from engines manufacturers, the TF-X would have a twin-engine configuration. In this regard, an initial agreement has been signed between TAI and BAE Systems on January 28th, 2017, in the presence of Prime Ministers of Turkey and UK. Two companies are actually bidding for the TF-X engines: GE Aviation with the F414-GE-400 and Eurojet with a improved version of the EJ-200 engine.

Once the TF-X fighter aircraft developed, the ambition of the Tukish industry would be its exportability to key allies and friendly countries.

     
IDEF 2017 Turkey progressing towards TF X next gen fighter jet development 640 004Turkey's TF-X fighter jet provisional design showcased by TAI at IDEF 2017