Jun 18, 2014
Turkey Looks To Have Dual Fighter Fleet by 2023
The F-35 has some weaknesses in air-to-air combat, but the TF-X would compensate. TF-X is Turkey’s indigenous fighter under development.
After delays , Turkey last month officially decided to order the country’s first two F-35s. The order is for the first F-35A aircraft with Block-3F configuration under Low Rate Initial Production-10.
Turkey joined the multinational F-35 program as a consortium partner during the concept demonstration phase in 1999.
In January 2013, Turkey indefinitely put off a decision to order the first two F-35s, citing unpredictable costs and technical snags. But procurement officials say the country’s commitment to eventually acquire 100 F-35s remains.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister is expected to give an official go-ahead for the first phase of the development stage of the TF-X this year.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) already has concluded the preconceptual design work and produced three draft models, one of which would become the first Turkish indigenous fighter jet. For the preconceptual design work, TAI cooperated with Sweden’s Saab. Turkey hopes that it can fly the Turkish fighter by 2023.
Turkey would eventually buy 100 to 150 of the TF-X.