ISTANBUL --- Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc. (TAI) has rolled up its sleeves to produce Turkey's national fighter jet, the TF-X. The fifth-generation fighter jet, one of the country's largest design projects announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will be realized within a project-based incentive system.
Preliminary design activities received a TL 4.8 billion ($1.16 billion) incentive certificate under the incentive program. The project will employ 3,200 people, with an indirect employment contribution estimated to be around 11,200.
Speaking to Turkish daily Dünya, TAI General Manager Temel Kotil said they will work with British BAE Systems, which plays various roles in the design of F-35 aircraft. "We have foreseen a four-year period for the preliminary design phase. In this phase, the structure of the plane will be determined. The development of engineering, technology, testing infrastructures and certification processes of the aircraft and the acquisition of capability for the design of the fighter jet are steps of this phase," Kotil said.
Kotil also said that TAI will establish the technology, human resources and physical investments for the TF-X jet, informing that a very large team will be working on the project.
He also explained that the first TF-X prototype should be ready for its first flight in 2023. "The TF-X is a fifth-generation invisible plane that can reach supersonic speeds with afterburners," Kotil said. "We want to get all of the kinks worked out and have it ready by 2029 and put into service for the Turkish Armed Forces in 2031."