Rolls-Royce will compete with a local manufacturer for the production of a jet engine for a Turkish indigenous fighter jet under the name TF-X. The fighter jet is under development.
Turkish procurement officials confirmed the British company’s participation in the tender, writes the military website Defense News.
In October 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Turkey and Rolls-Royce on the transfer of technological know-how and a corresponding production unit. As part of the plan, Rolls-Royce will establish a modern manufacturing and technology centre in Turkey.
One year later, in October 2016, Rolls-Royce offered Turkey a joint production partnership to promote planned Turkish platforms and potential sales to third parties. Rolls-Royce’s proposal includes a production facility in Turkey for the manufacture of engines for the TF-X fighter jet as well as for helicopters, tanks and missiles.
In a competing bid, the state-controlled engine manufacturer Tusas Engine Industries (TEI) submitted its own bid to the country’s procurement authority, the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), on 15 December. TEI is a sister company of Turkish Aerospace Industries or TAI, the local prime contractor for the TF-X program.
Turkish defence procurement authorities recently accelerated their work in selecting a supplier for engine know-how. The manufacture of the engine forms the backbone of the TF-X aircraft.
Decision for TF-X engine to be made in 2018
Military procurement officials announced that they intend to make their decision on the TF-X engine in early 2018. In addition to efforts to select an engine immediately available for the national fighter jet, the Turkish authorities are hoping to develop a domestic engine in the long term.
Sources from Turkish industry told Defense News that engine selection is the most critical phase in the TF-X program. „All other design work depends on the engine to be selected“, said a TAI official.
„Once we decide on the engine, the rest of the program will automatically gain speed.“
Rolls-Royce offers its EJ200 engine to power Turkey’s first indigenous fighter jet. Production conditions, know-how, technology transfer and export licences are among the main topics to be negotiated with Ankara.
The EJ200 is a joint venture engine built by Rolls-Royce, MTU, Avio and ITP. The consortium founded Eurojet Turbo GmbH at the end of the 1980s.
Rolls-Royce says that the EJ200 technology makes the engine smaller and simpler in design than today’s engines of a similar thrust class. At the same time, the engine has lower fuel consumption and an unprecedented power-to-weight ratio. Rolls-Royce has delivered more than 1,100 EJ200 engines to date.