Turkey issues RfI for ambitious TF-X fighter project | World Defense

Turkey issues RfI for ambitious TF-X fighter project


Dec 5, 2014
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Lale Sariibrahimoglu, Ankara - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
16 March 2015

Turkey has issued an RfI for its ambitious TF-X fighter programme. TF-X concepts pictured at IDEF 2013. Source: IHS/Nick de Larrinaga

Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) issued a request for information (RfI) on 13 March to formally start preliminary design work on its ambitious Turkish Fighter Aircraft (TF-X) programme.

The RfI calls for "the indigenous design, development, and production activities of the first Turkish Fighter Aircraft to meet Turkish Armed Forces' next generation fighter requirements".

The TF-X aircraft is intended to replace Turkey's existing Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter aircraft in the 2030s. The RfI call is open to "companies/organisations which are capable to design, develop, and/or manufacture 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft". The preliminary design work of TF-X fighter is estimated to cost about USD500 million, with a first prototype planned for 2023.

There are understood to be about nine companies interested in the programme, including Lockheed Martin, Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, Dassault, BAE Systems, and Saab. Those interested are required to respond to the RfI by 20 March.

The SSM is expected to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for the TF-X in the third quarter of 2015, with local defence industry sources telling IHS Jane's that this may culminate with the selection of a winner before the end of this year.

Whether the fighter aircraft will have single or twin engines will be decided over time and in parallel to preliminary design work. Among three concepts developed include the development of a single-engine, single-seat, 9 g capable fifth-generation jet fighter. Twin-engine prototypes are said to be about 60% more expensive and more time-consuming to produce.

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), in co-operation with Saab, has previously completed the conceptual design work for the TF-X at a cost of around USD20 million

Turkey issues RfI for ambitious TF-X fighter project - IHS Jane's 360