Turkey is developing a 5th generation jet, look how the development is going on

The Turkish state fighter TF-X will be a single-seat twin-engine next-generation fighter with stealth capabilities and new-generation avionics (based on the FX-1 concept). The plane was created due to a breakdown in cooperation between Turkey and the US on the F-35 project. Turkey, on the other hand, must first address the engine issue. The earthwork’s original suggestion was to employ the F-16’s F110 engine, which would subsequently be replaced with a Turkish indigenous engine in the future. Nonetheless, this strategy fails miserably. The TF-X is expected to be operational in 2029.

It will replace the F-16C/D fighter jets currently in service with the Turkish Air Force and become the fifth generation of domestically produced air superiority fighter jets. After the S400, Turkey will not get the F-35 in the foreseeable future). In the long run, Turkey may acquire about 150 TF-Xs.

TAI TF-X with homemade weapons
TAI TF-X with homemade weapons

To adequately meet the requirements of the Turkish Air Force, the TF-X will be equipped with two turbofan engines, each producing 27,000 pounds of thrust. The first TF-X prototype is expected to make its maiden flight in 2023 as a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Republic, and the prototype will be powered by a EuroJetEJ200 or General Electric’s F414-GE-400 engine. The TF-X is scheduled to be delivered to the Turkish Air Force for the first time in 2029. According to TAI general manager Temer Kotier, when it officially enters service with the Turkish Air Force, the TF-X will be equipped with domestically produced turbofans, each of which can generate 27.000 pounds of thrust. Deliveries will continue until 2039, and the TF-X aircraft will be in service with the Turkish Air Force until 2070.

The Turkish Air Force launched the National Combat Aircraft program in 2010. TAI was selected as the prime contractor. The ”Concept Development and Preliminary Design Phase” contract was signed on August 23, 2011, by the Deputy Minister of Defense Industry and TAI. According to the agreement, which is for a period of 24 months, effective September 29, 2011, during the period 2011-2013, the main contractor TAI, with technical support provided by SAAB Aircraft Company, prepared three independent conceptual designs and was Selected as Technical Support and Assistance Provider (TSAP). The three configurations are named; FX-1 (twin-engine, traditional layout like F-18, Eurofighter, Rafal, and MiG-29), FX-5 (single-engine, canard layout), and FX- 6 (single-engine, standard configuration).

With the completion of the ”Concept Development and Preliminary Design Phase”, the TF-X project’s Engineering Development and Preliminary Design Phase has begun. After lengthy negotiations, TAI and the Deputy Minister of Defense Industry signed a 48-month contract for the engineering development and preliminary design phase on August 5, 2016. As a result, the TF-X program’s Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase has also begun. During the EMD phase, seven TF-X prototypes will be built for testing and evaluation. The EMD phase will cost $8.6 billion over 12 years. Another $14 billion is spent on mass production of the TF-X fighter, bringing the program’s total budget to $20 billion.

In addition to the design and development of the TF-X aircraft, engineering capabilities, and technical development activities in the Turkish military and aviation, the initial design stage is eventually finished during the engineering development and preliminary design stage. For a new generation of jet fighters, the aerospace industry will establish a test infrastructure and certification process and design, development, and production capabilities. BAE Systems will participate in the TF-X program as an external partner.

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