The Turkish 5th generation TF-X (which stands for Turkish Fighter) fighter under development will follow Russian safe practice and will initially use General Electric‘s American F110 engines, according to Ismail Demir, head of the Defence Industries Directorate.
This engine will be used until Turkish industry is able to produce its own indigenous engine.
This is an “intermediate solution“.
This practice is also followed by Russia for the production of its own fifth generation fighter, the Su-57 which currently uses the engine of the Russian 4++ generation Su-35 fighter, namely the Saturn AL-41F1S turbofan.
The F110 is the obvious “solution“, at least for the initial stages of testing. This engine has already been assembled – and partly produced – for years in Turkey, by the Tusas company, as it is used to power the F-16s of the Turkish Air Force.
The company has produced a large number of these engines and is also a regional repair center.
It is an old design, from the 80‘s and its thrust reaches 17,000 lbs (29-30,000 with afterburner) so because the Turkish fighter will have two of them it is considered by the Turks that at least in the beginning they will be able to give the TF-X supercruise capability (supersonic speed without afterburner).
“There is a type of engine and certain systems that we have chosen. But over time there will be changes, development, updating of some systems. During this process, negotiations with Russia can also take place,” he said.
Demir‘s statements are reported by the Hurriyet newspaper.
He said that Russia and Turkey are in talks to develop a fifth-generation fighter.
Turkey is trying to develop its own fifth-generation fighter under the TF-X programme.
However, because it lacks sufficient experience in this sector, the country needs a foreign partner capable of becoming a technology donor and providing assistance in organising production, including the necessary components and assemblies.
The United States has refused to supply Turkey with fifth-generation F-35 fighters because of Russia‘s purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system.
But Ankara is determined to acquire its own fighter, no matter how much it costs.