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Nov 01 2018

Turkey chooses General Electric engines for first indigenous fighter jet

Turkey has chosen General Electric’s F110 family of engines for a prototype of its first indigenous fighter jet, Defense News reported.

Turkey plans to develop its TF-X jets with technical assistance from BAE Systems. The country plans to ultimately develop its own engine, to be produced by TR Motor, a national engine consortium.

An initial agreement in July to acquire and co-build engines from Rolls Royce has since fallen through. British officials were concerned that Turkey wanted Rolls Royce to share its technology with TR Motor, whose shareholders include Qatar’s minister of defence. 

Under an agreement with General Electric, the twin-engine TF-X is to be powered by the F110-GE-129, or the F110-GE-132 engine, Defense News said. Some experts think the F110 might not be an appropriate fit for a fifth-generation fighter jet. “If the Turks go for the GE option, they will have to compromise on the stealth capabilities of the TF-X,” a defence expert told the news site. 

Building indigenous defence systems has been a goal of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey plans to produce its own long-range air defence system to be ready by 2021. The TF-X fighter jets are expected undergo test flights in 2023.