Russia offers cooperation for Turkey’s first combat aircraft TF-X

The head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, has said Russia is ready to discuss partnership opportunities for the development of Turkey’s first national combat aircraft, Yeni Şafak reported on Wednesday.

The mockup of the TF-X National Combat Aircraft was introduced at the Paris Air Show in June. Turkey’s Kale Group and Rolls Royce had agreed to jointly develop engines for the TF-X with a $133 million deal signed in 2017, but the British engine maker announced in March that it had scaled back the project.

“We can provide Turkey with aircraft engines and electronic combat equipment,” Yeni Şafak quoted Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation head Dmitry Shugayev as saying to reporters.

The comments came shortly after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit on Tuesday to Moscow, where he examined Russia’s Su-35 and Su-57 warplanes at the MAKS 2019 International Aviation and Space Salon.

“We are ready to discuss this issue as a part of our cooperation in the defence industry,” the Russian official said in relation to TF-X, a fifth generation fighter.

Turkey has been mulling over alternatives to the F-35 jets after the United States halted the delivery of the U.S.-built stealth fighters to Turkey.

Washington expelled Turkey from the F-35 programme after Russia started the delivery of S-400 missile defence systems to Turkey. Ankara’s NATO allies fear the presence of the Russian-built systems could allow Moscow to access sensitive information on F-35s through subterfuge.

Speeding up efforts to develop the TF-X and replace Turkey’s F-16 jets has become more important after the removal from the F-35 programme, experts toldpro-government Daily Sabah last month.