Turkey: TAI TFX Fighter Program

kunal1123

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The TAI TFX is a twin-engine[4] all-weather fifth-generation Turkish aerial superiority fighter jet[5][6][7] being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with technological assistance from BAE Systems of the United Kingdom. The aircraft is slated to replace the Turkish Air Force's F-16s and is being planned to be offered to foreign air forces as well. The project is one of many ongoing high-profile military projects in Turkey



Three conceptual designs of the TF-X
 

kunal1123

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Turkey invited Pakistan to participate in next-gen TFX fighter program


In a recent interview with the state-owned television network PTV (note: it is in Urdu), Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production (MoDP) Rana Tanveer Hussain revealed that Turkey had invited Pakistan to participate in the development of its next-generation fighter program, the TFX. Specifically, Turkey had requested that Pakistan assists it on the “integration side” of the program.


Comment and Analysis


Pakistan was first linked to the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) TFX program in June when Turkey’s state-owned media outlet Anadolu Agency reported that the two countries were in talks over the TFX.


During the launch ceremony of the Pakistan Navy’s Fleet Tanker, which was designed by STM Turkey and produced at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW), the Undersecretary of SSM (Turkey’s defense industry department) reportedly said in a speech that the door was open to Pakistan participation in the TAI TFX . The Turkish aviation news outlet Kokpit Aero reported that Pakistan was interested in the TFX.


At this stage, it has now officially been confirmed that an invitation regarding the TFX was extended to Pakistan. However, the extent of Pakistan’s interest in the program is not known, at least officially. That said, Pakistani interest in the program would not be surprising.


In March, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF)’s Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman had announced that the PAF had begun to conceptualize its next-generation fighter requirements. In May, ACM Aman elaborated on the initiative and stated that indigenization would be essential to the program.


The specifics have not been disclosed, and one can only speculate exactly what the PAF is intending to do in regards to its next-generation fighter program. However, it is telling that the PAF has not formally or officially committed to the AVIC FC-31, which is surprising considering China’s role in being Pakistan’s principal supplier of high-tech arms, especially combat aircraft (i.e. the JF-17).


To better understand the situation, it may be worth noting exactly what role the next-generation fighter would play in the PAF. From the onset, it seems the next-generation fighter’s function is to replace the PAF’s legacy F-16s, which would be in excess of 40 years old in the 2020s.


Given that the F-16s form the foundation of what the PAF considers its “qualitative edge” or “high-tech” fleet element, it is possible that the PAF is keeping the capability and performance threshold of the next-generation platform on the upper-end of the spectrum.


This is not an indictment of the FC-31, but would explain why the TFX, which will draw significantly from Western expertise and technology, is under consideration. In other words, the PAF is keeping its options open, and will seek the platform that strikes the optimal balance of performance, cost, and accessibility.


Based on Mr. Hussain’s comments, it seems Turkey or TAI had extended an industrial collaboration offer to Pakistan. Should the PAF select the TFX, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) would benefit from some technology transfer as well as potentially commercial offsets, which could link PAC into the overall TFX program by providing all users with specific components and parts.


As one might imagine, this is quite different from the stated objective of the JF-17, which was to heavily mitigate the risk of sanctions. Domestic fighter production is not a simple or affordable undertaking. Pakistan had already invested considerably in the JF-17 program, and the inclusion of the next-generation platform does not preclude the JF-17 from further – parallel – development. The parallel development would be the likely course considering that a JF-17 variant will generally remain to be more affordable, accessible and scalable than any next-generation fighter solution.


That said, unlike the current situation with the F-16, the TFX may be accompanied by a comparatively deeper domestic support network, one that not only includes maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), but also a measure of spare parts manufacturing, domestic research and development investment, and armament flexibility (in terms of one’s choice of air-to-air/ground munitions). It is not entirely “sanction-proof”, but it is a substantive improvement in comparison to the F-16.


A less likely scenario – though possible – is that the TFX offer may not require the PAF to buy the aircraft. TAI could simply contract PAC to undertake specific tasks. This would not be the first time PAC engages in work that does not necessarily involve the Pakistani armed forces. In 2013, TAI contracted PAC to produce parts for the Anka unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), even though Pakistan does not operate the Anka.


In terms of broader impacts, discussions of this nature have essentially positioned Turkey as the leading prospective supplier for Pakistan’s next-generation arms requirements. From the T-129 ATAK dedicated attack helicopter, MILGEM corvette, and now TFX, Turkey could potentially be Pakistan’s top source of ‘Western’ arms. However, Turkey could very well be competing with China in some respects. Finances will be an issue for Pakistan, but Turkish offers or suggestions of transfer-of-technology and commercial offsets could help balance those limitations.


http://quwa.org/2016/08/22/turkey-invited-pakistan-participate-next-gen-tfx-fighter-program/

 

kunal1123

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Turkey and UK agree to next-gen fighter development deal

Jan 29, 2017


Britain and Turkey have signed a £100 million-plus contract to collaborate on Turkey’s next-generation fighter program, the TFX. The deal was announced by Prime Minister Theresa May and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on May’s ongoing visit to Turkey.
The contract is between Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and BAE Systems.
The Chief Executive of BAE Systems, Ian King, celebrated the deal by stating:
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 agreement confirms ongoing collaborative work on the design and development of the aircraft. (BAE Systems)
BAE Systems added that this contract “builds upon a pre-contract study phase” it had done with TAI.
In the backdrop of a failed coup attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a pivotal design and technical support contract between TAI and BAE Systems was apparently delayed, stalling the TFX.
However, Arabian Aerospace reported that negotiations between the relevant Turkish and British parties continued to take place and culminated in this agreement, which appears to be a four-year contract to design of the TFX.
This contract will aim to complete the designing of the TFX by 2020. Upon its completion, another four-year contract will be signed to undertake the TFX’s development. A date for the maiden test flight has not been determined. Turkey had intended to conduct it in 2023 in celebration of its 100th year as a republic.
Arabian Aerospace states that “export rights, industrialization, as well as strategic aspects, are all under consideration, with the engine being the most crucial of the latter.” Rolls-Royce and Eurojet are expected to be the leading contenders to power the TFX.
The TFX is intended to replace the Turkish Air Force’s F-16s.
Turkey will initiate its next-generation fighter procurement with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

As a Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program partner, Turkey will pair its procurement with offsets and technology transfers for its local industry. The experience and technical support base will be leveraged for the TFX in tandem with BAE Systems’ research and development capacity.

Besides replacing its F-16s, Turkey also intends to export the TFX. Intellectual property ownership of the design and licensed manufacturing of the turbofan engine (and export licenses) will be essential.
Although the TFX is in its embryonic stages, Turkey has been reaching out to potentially interested third parties. For example, the head of TAI’s Aircraft Group Özcan Ertem told MSI Turkish Defence Review (during the 2016 International Defence Exhibition and Seminar) that TAI is officially in touch with relevant Pakistani sides in regards to the TFX. In August 2016, the Pakistani Minister of Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain told Pakistan’s state-owned television network PTV that Turkey invited Pakistan to take part in the TFX program.

The TFX has significant potential for BAE Systems and the British defence industry at large. First, the TFX is a locally driven program in that the primary intended customer is Turkey. This will guarantee scale in terms of TFX production and anchor the platform to a home which will ensure the production and the ongoing development of the platform. It will also distribute the research and development overhead from the onset, contributing to the TFX’s marketability to prospective third-party buyers.

Granted, Turkey will want to control the intellectual property and domestically secure its supply channel, but Turkey’s need is the TFX’s best opportunity for survival through its development. The pay-off for BAE Systems is a fighter it is potentially free to globally market. The Arab Gulf will be a key area of focus for BAE Systems, and considering Turkey’s increasingly pervasive presence in the region, TAI and BAE Systems can operate in concert. However, the North Africa market, which has been beneficial to Western Europe and Russia, could also be a major focal-point

It will be key to observe if the two parties can succeed to control the unit cost of the TFX. It will not be a low-cost platform by any means considering its high-performance mission requirements, but competitive pricing will be essential to favourably position the TFX against the South Korean-led KFX, Russian T-50, and Chinese FC-31. Turkey has spent the previous decade to build valuable defence relationships with many major militaries (e.g. in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Algeria, etc), which should ease the marketability of competitive and accessible NATO-grade equipment. However, ‘accessibility’ a key variable, and while Turkey is taking steps to rectify it by developing a credit/financing mechanism, Britain’s entry as a defence industry partner could have an augmentative impact. If positive, the two countries might benefit collectively.

http://quwa.org/2017/01/29/turkey-uk-agree-next-gen-fighter-development-deal/

 

charlie

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They don't have experience in designing a 4th gen fighter and directly moving towards 5th gen.

Normally they would get most of the sub system from outside as well as take help of consultunt but still it's going to be really hard as countries don't want to share their latest tech with other countries.
 

IndianHawk

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They don't have experience in designing a 4th gen fighter and directly moving towards 5th gen.

Normally they would get most of the sub system from outside as well as take help of consultunt but still it's going to be really hard as countries don't want to share their latest tech with other countries.
And they are consulting the British who made only partially made a 4th gen eurofighter structure of which is already fatigued.o_O

What could possibly go wrong:biggrin2:
 

Bahamut

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They don't have experience in designing a 4th gen fighter and directly moving towards 5th gen.

Normally they would get most of the sub system from outside as well as take help of consultunt but still it's going to be really hard as countries don't want to share their latest tech with other countries.
They do not have the needed industries required, it will be just a assemble project.
 

Shashank Sharma

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And they are consulting the British who made only partially made a 4th gen eurofighter structure of which is already fatigued.o_O

What could possibly go wrong:biggrin2:
Yeah isn't it great that we are underestimating them, while our 5th gen fighter is still to see the light of the day?
 
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aditya10r

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And they are consulting the British who made only partially made a 4th gen eurofighter structure of which is already fatigued.o_O

What could possibly go wrong:biggrin2:
Then our western Neighbors must buy the aircraft
 

aditya10r

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Yeah isn't it great that we are underestimating them, while our 5th gen fighter is still to see the light of the day?
The design has been finalized and sum has been allocated
Wait 8-10 years
 

Screambowl

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please explain . i don't get anything from this..............
they don't have expertise to develop such a tuned and streamline engine
they don't have capability to develop material for RAM coating

They will just get it from here and there and assemble it. They are just putting money that's all

And this won't be close enough to be a 5th gen. fighter , may be 4.5.
Pak FA , F22, F35 are the real ones still they are being tested day today. Cost is another factor.
 

Hemu Vikram Aditya

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neither design have been finalize nor sum allocation. it is pre allocation or requirement . the project might be start in a year or two depending how other technology partner workout
It has been finalized ......................l..........
 

IndianHawk

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Yeah isn't it great that we are underestimating them, while our 5th gen fighter is still to see the light of the day?
We are way too ahead of Turkey in aviation.
British are ahead of us in engine department .

Our AMCA has been designed and funded.

Chances of Turkey developing a true 5th gen fighter are very very very slim.
 

Bahamut

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please explain . i don't get anything from this..............
Turkey has no previous experience in aircraft design and lack facilities like engine manufacturing, radar assembly, so the aircraft will more of a British design and it maybe that Brits will use it in the future. Most probably it will evolve into a joint venture.
 

IndianHawk

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Turkey has no previous experience in aircraft design and lack facilities like engine manufacturing, radar assembly, so the aircraft will more of a British design and it maybe that Brits will use it in the future. Most probably it will evolve into a joint venture.
Not gonna happen . British already participated in f35 program although not much technical input but they can't afford another 5th gen program. They will supply engine , draw design and take Turkey for a ride for next 2 decades :bounce:

Also to have a joint production with turkey will hurt brexit Britains pride :biggrin2:
 

charlie

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And they are consulting the British who made only partially made a 4th gen eurofighter structure of which is already fatigued.o_O

What could possibly go wrong:biggrin2:
BAE system Inc has solid portfolio when it comes to 5 gen fighter but unfortunately I don't have any idea how good it's UK subsidiary is as US BAE systems cannot share it's tech without US permission with UK.
 

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