Turkish F-16

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) unveiled three conceptual designs for the national air force’s TF-X fifth-generation jet fighter development programme during the recently concluded 2013 International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) exhibition in Istanbul, Turkey.

Developed as part of the programme’s two-year conceptual design phase, the designs include a single-engine aircraft with and without canards, as well as a twin-engine fighter, as reported by Flightglobal.

Speaking to IHS Jane, TAI F-X programme chief engineer Huseyin Yagci was quoted as saying that all three concepts feature a design optimised for low radar cross-sectional density, internal weapons bays, as well as the ability to super cruise, which all are generally associated with fifth generation fighter jets.

The two single-engine fighters possess a maximum take-off weight of between 50,000lb and 60,000lb, whereas the maximum take-off weight of the twin-engine concept measures between 60,000lb and 70,000lb, Yagci added.

The designs will now be validated against air force requirements, and the resulting report is scheduled to be submitted to the Defense Industry Executive Committee for approval of the development phase budget and framework by the end of September.

Activities are being performed as part of the $20m agreement for Jet Trainer and Fighter Aircraft Conceptual Design Project signed between the company and Turkey’s Undersecretariat for the Defense Industries (SSM) in August 2011.

TAI has also signed a partnership agreement with Saab for provision of technological design assistance for the programme in March.

Primarily intended to replace Turkish Air Force’s ageing Lockheed Martin-built F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft fleet from 2020, the future F-X fighter programme also aims to boost the country’s planned acquisition of 100 F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft.

Image: A Turkish Air Force’s F-16C Falcon aircraft during its flight. Photo: Courtesy of SRA Alan Port.

Defence Technology