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Turkey to have its own fighter jet in 2025


Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Friday, January 7th 2022 à 15:22 | Read 403 times



Turkey develops its own defence weapons (photo: Turkish Presidency)
Turkey develops its own defence weapons (photo: Turkish Presidency)
TURKEY. Faced with the many problems encountered in equipping its armed forces, Turkey has decided to produce locally. In 2019, the United States refused to deliver a hundred of the F-35 fighter jets because Ankara had just acquired the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defence system.

"The budget for defence industry projects has risen from $5.5bn to $75bn and the sector's annual turnover from $1bn to $10bn," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday 6 January 2022. Speaking during a visit to a new arms manufacturing plant in Ankara, the Turkish president recalled his desire to no longer be independent of third countries for its defence. "We have completed the HISAR air defence system project, and soon the SIPER project will see the light of day, and even more advanced technology," he said.

The first Turkish anti-aircraft missile system HISAR ("fortress" in Turkish) has been developed since 2007 by the Defence Ministry in collaboration with local industrialists Aselsan and Roketsan and will be put into service in 2021. Its promoters want to compete with other low- and medium-altitude anti-aircraft missile systems for ground forces. HISAR-A has a range of 15 km and HISAR-O of 25 km. Both are designed to target aircraft, helicopters, rockets in flight, drones and ground-to-air rockets.

On the occasion of a test, Fikri Isik, Turkish Minister of Defence, underlined the importance of this production: "Some countries that we consider friendly, have the habit of immediately imposing embargoes or restrictions on us at the slightest problem. We therefore aim to become one of the notable countries in the world that possess critical technologies and are capable of developing them. The minister also announced that Turkey would acquire a long-range anti-aircraft missile system with the Hisar-U (100 km range) as well as the SIPER (an acronym taken from the name of an Ottoman archery accessory), mentioned by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and a 150 km range which should be available by the end of 2023.

Turkish fighter jet to join armed forces in 2029

"In terms of the defence industry, we are present in all technological fields," said the Turkish president, indicating that his country was now the third largest producer of military drones, notably with the TB2 from the private company Bayraktar, run by one of the president's sons-in-law, a weapon that has proved its worth mainly in the Libyan theatre.

Started in December 2010 to completely replace the F-35 fleet by 2030, the project of the fifth-generation Turkish fighter plane (TF-X) is going well. According to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, this fighter intended for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat should leave the hangars in 2023, fly for the first time in 2025 and integrate the armed forces of his country from 2029. Its design was entrusted to TAI (Turkish Aerospace) in 2011 and to TEI (Tusas Engine Industries) in partnership with BAE Systems (Great Britain) since 2017. In January 2015, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had specified that it will be a twin-engine aircraft.

During a press presentation in June 2021, programme officials indicated that the fighter would benefit from a length of 21 metres with a wingspan of 14 metres.It will be equipped with engines developed by local industrialist TRMotor (General Electric for test flights) and will be able to reach the maximum speed of Mach 1.8 (2205 km/h). This fighter will carry only the pilot. "The national fighter aircraft will not only meet our country's fighter aircraft needs. MMU (Editor's note: the name of the programme meaning Milli Muharip Uçak, national fighter aircraft) will also provide our country with all the necessary structures to produce new generation aircraft and will act as a catalyst for the development of the aeronautics industry," stressed Temel Kotil, managing director of Tusas, when signing an agreement with TRMotor for this aircraft.



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