Russia is holding consultation with Turkey to provide technology and expertise for Ankara’s ambitious TF-X fighter jet project.
"At this stage, consultations are underway with the Turkish side at the level of specialized groups on the issues of interaction in creating the Turkish national fighter," Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugayev told a media briefing on Wednesday at the ARMY-2021 forum near Moscow.
"In this regard, there are interesting areas where we could render technological assistance, considering the experience that our specialists possess in developing and manufacturing aircraft. And we are ready to share our expertise with our Turkish partners. But it is premature to talk about any specific details at this stage," he said in comments quoted by TASS.
While Turkey’s Defense Industries Presidency which is spearheading the project has maintained that the TF-X fighter jet would be completely indigenous, it is known that Turkish industry lacks certain critical technologies required to take this project to fruition.
At the IDEF 2021 event , it was revealed that the TF-X development project has reached the System Requirements Review (SRR) phase and will be follow by the the System Functional Review and Preliminary Design Review.
Ukrainian Inputs for TF-X
Ukrainian company, FED is reported to have signed a contract with Turkish Aerospace for the TF-X project. Viktor Popov, Chairman of the Board of FED was quoted as saying during IDEF 2021. “We participate in the TF-X (Turkish Fighter Experimental) program. It is a fifth-generation aircraft, a fighter. It is also a huge job, very short deadlines. This means that we are fully loading our engineers, technologists, and production.”
Engine for TF-X to come from Russia?
While Turkish Aerospace has maintained that the engine for the TF-X will be developed indigenously with help from Rolls Royce, it is doubtful if it will be able to do that within the short timeframe it has set for the TF-X’s roll out and first flight. Within sight is Russia’s engine it is developing for the Su-57. It is possible it may use one engine for the development phase and replace it with a locally –made one later.
European inputs for TF-X in doubt?
Earlier, Turkey had announced that it has selected Dassault Systems software for TF-X development. In addition, Turkish firm Kale has entered into a partnership with Rolls Royce to develop an engine for the TF-X. Progress on these projects is not known.
Relations between Turkey and its European NATO partners have soured lately over the former’s differences with Greece. France has take the side of Greece in the Mediterranean dispute and supplied it with Rafale jets.