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The Turkish Government is set to design and develop a new fighter aircraft for the Turkish Air Force (TurAF).

The design and development of the new TF-X stealth fighter is being carried out under a prime contract signed between Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) of Ministry of Turkish National Defence and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in August 2016.

The TF-X is intended to replace the TurAF’s ageing fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons. It will be operable with other TurAF aircraft such as F-35As.

This multi-role aircraft will be capable of performing both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions.

The aircraft is 19m-long, has a wingspan of 12m and wing area of approximately 60m². It can also travel at a maximum speed of Mach 2.

“The multi-role aircraft will be capable of performing both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions.”

Engineering analysis and preliminary calculations indicate that the aircraft will be powered by two engines.

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TurAF is expected to keep TF-X aircraft operational until 2070.

The prime contract covers engineering capabilities and technology development activities for key sensors such as radar and electronic warfare.

It also includes the establishment of test infrastructures and certification processes for a new generation jet fighter design.

SSM and TurAF are also considering exporting TF-X aircraft to key allied countries.