ISTANBUL (PPA)– Turkey has taken fresh initiatives to develop its own TF-X National Combat Aircraft (MMU) after U.S. barred Turkey from taking part in F-35 production.
According to a report in Daily Sabah the joint project has been initiated by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the Directorate of Defense Industries (SSB).
According to SSB Chairman İsmail Demir an agreement has been reached between the TAI and leading defense company HAVELSAN to undertake the new task.
Ismail Demir was quoted as saying that when the project is completed Turkey will be among the countries capable of producing fifth-generation combat aircraft with the necessary infrastructure and technology, along with the U.S., Russia, and China.
He further noted that the project is ongoing amid necessary measures against the coronavirus pandemic that were given high priority in the defense industry.
Demir explained that the cooperation between the TAI and HAVELSAN will cover many fields, including embedded training and simulation, training and maintenance simulators, and engineering support in various fields, including in virtual test environments, project-level software development and cybersecurity.
Speaking on the cooperation, HAVELSAN Chairman Ahmet Hamdi Atalay said they have already started to form a team for the project. The MMU is a fifth-generation jet with similar features to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II.
The domestically built aircraft is being developed to replace the Turkish Air Force Command’s F-16 fighters, ahead of the gradual phasing out of the latter throughout the 2030s.
The homegrown fighter jet is expected to make a maiden flight using a domestic engine in 2029. Work to develop the engine also continues at full speed in cooperation with related institutions. – Courtesy Daily Sabah.com