BAE Systems and Turkish Aerospace Industries have signed an agreement to collaborate on the first development phase of an indigenous fifth-generation fighter jet for the Turkish Air Force.
The planned aircraft, the ‘TFX’ is expected to be a twin-engine, fifth-generation Turkish ‘aerial superiority fighter’. The aircraft is planned to replace F-16 in Turkush service. As far back as December 2015, Turkey had indicated that it intended to chose BAE Systems to assist with the design of the fighter.
It is understood that Rolls-Royce have offered Turkey EJ200 engine technology transfer and joint-development of a derivative for the TFX.
Signing this agreement in Ankara in the presence of The Prime Ministers of Turkey and the United Kingdom, BAE Systems Chief Executive, Ian King, said:
“BAE Systems is a leader in designing, manufacturing and supporting fighter aircraft and is in an excellent position to contribute technical and engineering expertise and experience of managing complex projects to this key Turkish programme.
The announcement signals an exciting next step in relations between both Turkey and the UK with the co-operation between BAE Systems and TAI paving the way for a deeper defence partnership. The agreement confirms ongoing collaborative work on the design and development of the aircraft.”
At its peak hundreds of Turkish and UK engineers will collaborate on the TF-X programme helping to support collaboration on the skills, technology and technical expertise required to deliver the programme.
BAE Systems said in an announcement:
“At its peak hundreds of Turkish and UK engineers will collaborate on the TF-X programme helping to support collaboration on the skills, technology and technical expertise required to deliver the programme.”
The Turkish Air Force reportedly intends to procure at least 250.