Turkey open to part­ners for en­gine mak­ers in fighter jet project

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Money -

THE door re­mains open for in­ter­na­tional en­gine-mak­ers to get in­volved in Turkey’s TF-X na­tional fighter jet project, Turk­ish De­fense In­dus­try Direc­tor İs­mail Demir said yes­ter­day.

Turkey has in re­cent years been work­ing to de­velop its own de­fense ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing tanks and com­bat he­li­copters, in an at­tempt to boost its de­fense ca­pa­bil­i­ties amid mil­i­tant threats and con­flict along its south­ern borders.

Last year Turkey’s Kale Group said it would set up a joint ven­ture com­pany with UK-based en­gi­neer­ing firm Rolls-Royce to de­velop air­craft en­gines in­clud­ing those of the TF-X, Turkey’s first do­mes­ti­cally made jet. Bri­tain and Turkey signed a deal worth more than 100 mil­lion pounds to de­velop TF-X.

Speak­ing at a sign­ing cer­e­mony with de­fense com­pany TR Mo­tors for the jets’ pro­duc­tion, Demir said talks with Rolls Royce were un­der­way, but that Turkey had “red lines” re­gard­ing the project which it would not com­pro­mise. Demir said there should be no re­stric­tions on ex­ports, that all the tech­nol­ogy will be­long to Turkey, and that Turkey will own all its rights.

“An en­gine that be­longs fully to us is our red line. Since we know it will be a long process, we will work with those who want to pro­duce an in­ter­me­di­ary en­gine,” Demir said.

Asked whether Rolls Royce had agreed to com­ply with the de­mands, Demir said Turkey would be will­ing to forego the red lines for a pro­to­type en­gine, but not for the fi­nal prod­uct, and added that other in­ter­na­tional of­fers would also be eval­u­ated.

Demir also said Turkey was at a stage where it could start mass pro­duc­tion of its na­tional Al­tay tanks, adding that they were look­ing at a pe­riod of 18 months af­ter the sig­na­tures. The Al­tay tank project, led by the Turk­ish com­mer­cial and mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle pro­ducer Otokar, is worth an es­ti­mated 7 bil­lion eu­ros ($8.30 bil­lion).

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