Rolls-Royce has scaled back efforts to join a Turkish programme to build a new fighter jet, striking a blow to UK ambitions to put the British aerospace industry at the heart of the project.
The aero-engine group has been working with the Turkish industrial group Kale to bid for the contract to develop the engine on the TF-X jet, an ambitious scheme to create Turkey's first indigenous combat aircraft. Senior UK officials, including the prime minister, Theresa May, had lobbied hard for Rolls-Royce to win the deal.
Talks ran into problems last year due to a dispute over the sharing of intellectual property and the involvement of a Qatari-Turkish company.
After failing to find a compromise, Rolls-Royce has all but abandoned its efforts to win the bid for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft, according to several people familiar with the discussions. To restart talks, Turkey would have to come back “at a very senior level”, one person said.
Warren East, chief executive of Rolls-Royce, said the company had “substantially ramped down” on the TF-X project and “been re-assigning people” to other schemes. (end of excerpt)
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