National Fighter Aircraft [Yerli Savas Jeti]
Jet Trainer Aircraft (T-X)
The Jet Trainer Aircraft (T-X) and Fighter Aircraft Conceptual Design Project is conducting a “Conceptual Design” study to design and produce prototypes for modern platforms that meet Turkish Armed Forces needs. It will substitute Turkish Air Forces existing T-38 Trainer Aircraft and F-16 Fighter Aircraft to be replaced in the 2020's, by employing domestic capabilities to the maximum extent possible. The project aims to maximize the utilization of existing domestic capabilities, identify critical technologies during the development and production phases of the aircraft and coordinate the planning of industrialization requirements.
Since the late 1970s, Turkey has consistently pursues a policy of ensuring technology transfer and local participation, to the extent possible, through offset arrangements in defence procurement. In that context, F-16 aircraft were produced in Turkey at Turkish Aerospace Industries in Ankara (TAI) while the engines were assembled at Tusas Engine Industries (TEI) in Eskisehir. Some analysts qualify TAI's present standing as shallow and inefficient, as the company had struggled to find work following the F-16 program's end.
In October 2005 the Turkish defense procurement agency (SSM) released a brief RfI for a new fighter program. The new fighter deal, because of the scale of work, could promote TAI as an important aerospace firm. The RfI was sent to Eurofighter GmbH, Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F-35, and Boeing Co.
By November 2005 the European consortium Eurofighter GmbH joined the multi-billion-dollar competition for the procurement of new generation fighter jets. The Eurofighter consortium, which includes Italian, German, British and Spanish firms - continues efforts to include Turkey in its program for the Eurofighter Typhoon project. In a search to gain upper hand in Turkey’s next generation fighter aircraft acquisition to replace ageing fleet of F-4s and F-16s, in 2006 the Eurofighter Group proposed US$5 billion work for Turkish defence industry in a possible Eurofighter acquisition by Turkey.
Turkey, whose present fighter fleet is made up of US-made aircraft, plans to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II planes. By 2005 Turkey had invested $175 million for the development phase of the JSF, but increasing uncertainties over the eventual cost of the program was unnerving Turkey's procurement officials. But Turkish officials want another future jet fighter to be developed with a country or countries other than the United States. As of 2006 Turkey planned to buy 120 next generation fighter aircraft and has since 2002 been a 3rd level participant in the ongoing system development and demonstration phase (SDD) of US Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) Project.
Plans for the "Turkish type fighter" were unveiled in Ankara on 15 December 2010, with local company Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) named as general co-ordinator for the program. As a resolution of the December 15, 2010 dated meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Committee [SSIK], it was decided that Turkish Aerospace Industries [TAI] and SSM begin negotiating the details for designing and producing a national fighter jet to meet the 2020 and on requirements of the Turkish Air Force. As a result of the activities, conducted in line with this resolution, related agreement and technical / administrative documents were prepared and agreed upon.
Turkish Aerospace Industries [TAI] was tasked with determining the specifications of the new fighter by the end of 2012. Under the two-year agreement, TUSAS will carry out feasibility works. At the end of that period, a final decision will be made by the Defense Industry Executive Committee for the next phase of the project.
The SSM has allocated $20 million for an initial two-year design phase to be conducted by TAI, with the company to also be responsible for sourcing engines from a foreign supplier. Korea Aerospace Industries is seeking international partners for its KF-X development, with Indonesia also having expressed interest. In mid-2011 Turkey held separate talks with aeronautical officials from South Korea and Sweden for possible cooperation in the design, development and production of a new fighter aircraft in the next decade. South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries [KAI] is planning to produce the KF-X fighter aircraft, and Sweden’s Saab is the maker of the JAS 39 Gripen multi-role fighter.
On 23 August 2011 the agreement for “Jet Trainer and Fighter Aircraft Conceptual Design Project” was signed between the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industries (SSM) and Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) to begin a national fighter jet project. Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, Air Forces Commander Gen. Mehmet Erten and Defense Industry Undersecretary Murad Bayar attended the signing ceremony held in Ankara.
Within the framework of the agreement, in order to meet the 2020 and on “Jet Trainer and Fighter Aircraft Conceptual Design Project” aircraft, the following will be realized:
- Determination of the operation requirements,
- Activities of necessity analyze
- Definition of the concept of the aircraft and system / sub-systems,
- Feasibility of national potential and capability,
- International cooperation models.
By the end of the agreement, the results of the technical and administrative activities will be evaluated by SSIK and decision will be made for the next step.
Turkey's most important project in aviation, the 'National Fighter Aircraft', appeared in three different designs. TAI and the Air Force's 'conceptual design' were reviewed by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) on 29 September 2012, and will be presented to the Air Force. One of these three design to be selected. The National Fighter Aircraft, along with the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ANKA, training aircraft Hürkus are the most important aviation project in the next 10 years in Turkey. The project is aimed at meeting domestic fighter jets needs by the year 2023.
Mainly used for air-to-air missions, for this aircraft one of the most important requests is for 'low visibility' under radar. The main design is of great importance to this property. To do this, the weapons are transported in the fuselage. Thus, the radar echoes are reflected less. Three different designs were ranked according to high-speed, efficient strike force, excellent maneuverability and a large radius of operations. One model is twin engine, the other two single-engine.
- KANARDLI: a single-engine aircraft, high-and low-speed maneuverability in the air holding the front of the body 'canard' was added to the so-called parts. In size from the smallest of the three models.
- DOUBLE MOTOR: the design load more weapons and dual engine was preferred to stay in the air. Length longer than the other models of the aircraft. High speed, long range.
- SINGLE MOTOR: Fifth-generation fighter design concepts than the other with the standard lines. Middle class in size. Wing structure of the F-22, F-35 is reminiscent of the body and tail.
The original conceptual design for an aircraft project was done by the Swedish company Saab. The goal here was to draw the right roadmap. Saab was asked about the new generation fighter aircraft in the world - the United States, Russia, France,and Sweden. Designed by Saab, the JAS-39 Gripen is noted for simplicity and success of different sales approaches.
This process is followed by the start of 2021 production. 2023 target for the first flight. Flight tests and then begin the process of delivery. According to the program the process of testing and delivery is scheduled for completion in 2025 and 2035. National War Plane aimed to remain in inventory until 2060.
The first prototype of the new, indigenously developed aircraft, the TFX, was expected to fly in 2023. The Turkish air force was believed to have selected a twin-engine configuration, and BAE Systems was selected as the foreign co-partner to develop it. The TFX would eventually replace the F-16 during the late 2020s to early 2030s. Turkey also had plans to fly F-35Bs from its new amphibious warfare ships.
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