TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 29 Jan 2017, 13:42
by airforces_freak
I have started a new thread to collate all information relating to the TFX Air Superiority fighter program. This will prevent the need for individual posts relating to the program which would just clutter feeds.

Turkey (Turkish Aerospace Industries) and the United Kingdom (BAE Systems) are now officially TFX program partners

BAE Systems signs Heads of Agreement for a future contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries for TF-X Programme
28 January 2017
http://www.baesystems.com/en/article/ba ... -programme

This announcement builds upon a pre-contract study phase between BAE Systems and TAI.
Ankara, Turkey: In the presence of The Prime Ministers of Turkey and the United Kingdom, BAE Systems and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) today signed a Heads of Agreement to collaborate on the first development phase of an indigenous fifth-generation fighter jet for the Turkish Air Force – TF-X.
This announcement builds upon a pre-contract study phase between BAE Systems and TAI.

Signing this agreement in Ankara ahead of a planned contract with a value in excess of £100 Million, BAE Systems Chief Executive, Ian King, said: ‘‘BAE Systems is a leader in designing, manufacturing and supporting fighter aircraft and is in an excellent position to contribute technical and engineering expertise and experience of managing complex projects to this key Turkish programme. The announcement signals an exciting next step in relations between both Turkey and the UK with the co-operation between BAE Systems and TAI paving the way for a deeper defence partnership. The agreement confirms ongoing collaborative work on the design and development of the aircraft."

At its peak hundreds of Turkish and UK engineers will collaborate on the TF-X programme helping to support collaboration on the skills, technology and technical expertise required to deliver the programme.


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Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2017, 01:02
by airforces_freak
More leaks:

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Aselsan working on mission computer and avionics-network centricity.
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TUBITAK-SAGE nears completion of design and development of Goktuğ IIR VWR and Goktuğ RF BVR Air-to-Air Missiles
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Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2017, 06:06
by Corsair1963
Just a poor mans F-35 equipped with two EJ200's instead of the P&W F135.... :wink:

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2017, 11:14
by airforces_freak
Corsair1963 wrote:Just a poor mans F-35 equipped with two EJ200's instead of the P&W F135.... :wink:


I have to beg to differ. The F-35 is a multirole aircraft whereas the TFX according to Turkish Aerospace Industries and BAE Systems is being designed as an Air Superiority fighter.

We could say its a poor mans F-15SE or even a poor mans F-22 with IRIST.

P.S. Rolls Royce has offered something better to TAI/BAE than the EJ200. So we have to wait and see what will power the TFX.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 02 Feb 2017, 11:45
by yigitr
Turkey is a partner and costumer of F-35 Program, and even ordered first 6 aircraft and plans to get about 100 F-35. So Turkey is not the poor man in this case :)

TFX is planned to accompany F-35 in the 2030's. It will be a twin engined air superiority fighter. So it can be seen as poor man's f-22 :)

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2017, 03:06
by airforces_freak
A good read:

TF-X: A New Chapter in UK–Turkey Relations Takes Flight
Justin Bronk
RUSI Defence Systems, 31 January 2017
Air Power and Technology, Europe, Turkey, Military Sciences, Aerospace
https://rusi.org/publication/rusi-defen ... chapter-uk–turkey-relations-takes-flight

Britain and Turkey signed a £100 million deal on 28 January during Theresa May’s trade talks in Ankara with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Under the deal, BAE Systems will join forces with Turkish Aerospace Industries to develop a ‘fifth-generation fighter’ for the Turkish Air Force of the 2020s. What sort of aircraft could be produced and what implications could there be?
Britain and Turkey signed a £100 million deal on 28 January during Theresa May’s trade talks in Ankara with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Under the deal, BAE Systems will join forces with Turkish Aerospace Industries to develop a ‘fifth-generation fighter’ for the Turkish Air Force of the 2020s. What sort of aircraft could be produced and what implications could there be?

While the RAF and Armée de l’Air usually come to mind as the most potent European NATO member air forces, the Turkish Air Force substantially eclipses both in terms of size. It operates a modern and effective fighter force composed predominantly of Lockheed Martin F-16s licence built by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).

As a partner in the F-35 programme, it is no secret that the Turkish Air Force wants to upgrade to fifth-generation capabilities to keep in step with the other major air forces in NATO.

However, financial limitations and possible security concerns have limited the number of F-35s which Turkey has on order at present to six with an eventual ambition for around 100. Turkey is determined to develop an indigenous fifth-generation combat aircraft manufacturing capability as soon as possible.

Enter BAE Systems; the defence giant with experience developing and building major parts of the F-35, as well as its own Taranis low-observable UCAV. BAE Systems has the required experience and industrial knowledge to develop fifth-generation aircraft, but no domestic market to enable it to remain a producer of combat aircraft outside manufacturing parts of the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Turkey offers that market, with an air force of nineteen squadrons of third- and fourth-generation fighters in need of eventual replacement, and a threat environment likely to remain characterised by foreign interventions, instability and the proliferation of high-end weapons systems.

As such, the stated requirement for TF-X is at least 250 air-superiority fighters.

Little has been disclosed so far in terms of what sort of fighter might emerge from the TF-X collaboration. So far, the concept has not been narrowed down to a single or twin-engine design, although a derivative of Eurojet’s EJ200 that powers the Eurofighter Typhoon has been selected to power the production fighter.

Turkey prefers a twin-engine aircraft, but key envisaged export customers such as Pakistan would prefer a single-engine jet for cost reasons.

Given the relatively close geographical distances between Turkey and potential opponents, it is likely that range on internal fuel may be a lower priority design variable than cost, internal weapons payload and low-observable airframe shaping.

Equally, the Turkish MoD’s stated timeline of 2023 for a first flight and roughly $100 million per airframe unit cost target impose limitations on how ambitious the design of the new fighter can be. With examples to draw on from the F-22, F-35 and China’s J-20, the development of a low-observable airframe shape should not be an impossible task for TAI within that timeframe.

However, as all those who have so far tried have discovered, it is much harder to develop something that operates like a true fifth-generation fighter with all the required sensor suite and information processing capabilities. Stealth coatings are also a dark art which takes a great deal of industrial know-how and experience to master.

BAE Systems can certainly make a critical contribution to the Turkish TF-X effort in the areas of sensor integration, airframe design, weapons integration and defensive aids suite. However, the question is how much technology transfer will be permitted under the agreement, especially where American International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) concerns might be raised.

On the other hand, the Turkish defence electronics firm ASELSAN has reportedly already begun work on an active electronically scanned array AESA radar for the TF-X programme incorporating advanced gallium nitride technology. Therefore, Turkish industry seems to already be at a fairly advanced stage for many critical component technologies.

BAE Systems sensor integration and defensive aids suite expertise might be able to help TAI produce most of the critical systems for TF-X without encountering too many ITAR restrictions.

There is still a great deal of uncertainty (or possibly everything to play for) in terms of the nature of BAE Systems’ participation in the eventual production of a fighter version of TF-X. The Turkish preference is clearly for production to be undertaken almost exclusively by TAI and, therefore, barring large scale export successes there is little evidence that BAE will manufacture much beyond select components and sensors.

It is, therefore, premature to assume that TF-X will keep BAE Systems in the fighter-manufacturing business outside the F-35 programme, even though it will undoubtedly help to maintain the institutional knowledge base required through technical collaboration arrangements.

However, there are reasons to keep an eye on the export prospects for TF-X if it does mature into a useful low-observable air superiority fighter in the mid-late 2020s.

First, a little competition is no bad thing, and if one thing has come to characterise the fifth-generation fighter market in recent years, it is a lack of Western competitors to the monolithic F-35 programme.

Second, the F-35 is optimised for strike and SEAD operations in heavily defended airspace, rather than for air superiority. The TF-X has long been intended as a complementary capability alongside the strike-oriented F-35 in Turkish service.

This implies a focus on missile-load, air-to-air radar performance and the capability to operate ‘high and fast’ in a similar fashion to the US Air Force’s formidable F-22 and the Eurofighter Typhoon. Twin EJ200-derived engines could certainly produce an aircraft with potent performance, especially given the streamlining and internal weapons and fuel carriage requirements inherent in a ‘stealth’ design.

This sort of capability is something that many air forces are keen to acquire, and countries such as Japan and Australia have been explicit about their frustrations with not being permitted to purchase the F-22 for this reason.

If TAI and BAE Systems can develop a low-observable fighter with the ability to carry six or more medium-range air-to air-missiles internally, an AESA radar, sensor fusion and supercruise capabilities for somewhere in the region of $100-120 million per airframe, then the potential export opportunities could be extremely lucrative and potentially even lead to manufacturing of the aircraft on multiple production lines in different countries.

Politics, however, will undoubtedly remain the TF-X’s worst enemy on the road to the creation of a viable fifth-generation air superiority fighter. Turkey’s strained relations with other NATO members over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian policies, the refugee crisis and EU membership offer the potential to scupper the transfer of high-end military technologies and defence collaboration if they continue to worsen.

Furthermore, the improving Ankara–Moscow relationship remains a matter of serious concern for other NATO members, both as a potential source of war with Russia over flashpoint confrontations, and also conversely as a potential source of technology compromise to Russia during the periods when Turkey is tempted to play the West off against the Kremlin when it suits.

Finally, the most recent in Turkey’s long history of military coups saw the gutting of many of the finest squadrons in the Turkish Air Force during subsequent reprisals and a helicopter pilot defecting with his aircraft to Greece when it became clear that the attempted overthrow had failed.

In this case, the defectors landed in NATO territory, but there is a risk that in future, assuming the long-standing rift between the military and Islamist political movement continues to simmer in Turkey, that defecting pilots might deliver high-end Western military technology to Russia, Iran or countries friendly to those regimes.

In the end though, the economics of fighter development and procurement are likely to trump security concerns and BAE Systems and TAI will have the opportunity to jointly develop a fifth- generation combat aircraft with huge export potential on the basis of relatively mature and understood technologies.

If they succeed, it will change the combat aircraft market for decades to come.

Banner image: A Turkish Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon at Muwaffaq Salti Air Base, Jordan. Turkey plans to phase out its fleet of F-16 fighters by 2030 and replace them with fifth-generation fighters. Courtesy of Wolfram M Stumpf, US Air Force/Wikimedia.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2017, 04:15
by Corsair1963
India should cancel the LCA, AMCA, and PAK-FA/FGFA. Then instead buy a reasonable number of F-35's to hold it over. While joining with South Korea (KF-X) or Turkey (TFX) to develop 5th Generation Fighter of their own......


Just saying.....

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2017, 05:35
by airforces_freak
Corsair1963 wrote:India should cancel the LCA, AMCA, and PAK-FA/FGFA. Then instead buy a reasonable number of F-35's to hold it over. While joining with South Korea (KF-X) or Turkey (TFX) to develop 5th Generation Fighter of their own......


Just saying.....


AFAIK the South Korean KF-X is not a true 5th Gen. Aircraft (more in the 4.5 Gen).

With regards to India joining the TFX, I don't think it will happen because Pakistan is currently negotiating to join the TF-X. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Pakistani counterpart are working on a financing model at the moment because Pakistan cannot afford a Western 5th Generation fighter. See http://www.defenseworld.net/news/16893/ ... ft_Program

Turkey needs to reap the $40 billion + it has allocated for the TF-X program through exports to the Middle East and Turkic countries.

Now I know one export customer which has not come to anyones mind as yet and that is the Israeli Air Force. Two Turkish Ministers will be travelling to Israel next week to discuss many projects. The first is oil pipelines, the second is an off-the-shelf purchase and upgrade of Turkey's M-60T Sabra with the Tropy active protection suites (Turkish MBT's have no APS and the Turkish Army has sustained many casualties as a result in Operation Euphrates Shield. Furthermore, the Altay will not be ready until 2 more years and thus Turkey needs a stop gap measure until then). The other is the TF-X program.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2017, 12:11
by airforces_freak
Turkey’s TF-X fighter throws a lifeline to UK military aerospace
https://www.aerosociety.com/news/turkey ... aerospace/

The UK Prime Minister’s visit to Turkey announcing BAE Systems’ collaboration on an indigenous stealth fighter for the Turkish Air Force represents a vital win for the UK military aerospace sector. TIM ROBINSON assesses the ramifications of this deal.

British PM Theresa May meets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - 28 January (No 10 Downing Street)

On 28 January British Prime Minister Theresa May, on an official visit to Istanbul, Turkey, to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced that the UK’s BAE Systems, in partnership with Turkish Aerospace Industries, (TAI) would help design a new ‘fifth generation’ stealth fighter - the TF-X. This agreement, for BAE Systems to help design the TF-X for service in the mid-2020s is a potential lifeline for the UK’s combat aircraft design expertise.

What is TF-X?


The three configurations of TF-X currently in contention. (Mehmet Delice)

So what is Turkey’s TF-X? Although the configuration is not yet set in stone, Turkey’s goal is to develop its own indigenous (as far as practical) stealth fighter which will replace the Lockheed Martin F-16 in service.

While the Turkish Air Force (which was heavily involved in the 2016 coup attempt) currently flies F-16s and some F-4s and is set to receive around 100 F-35s, the concept for TF-X is that it would be more heavily tilted towards the air superiority mission – as a F-22-class combat aircraft for the mid-2020s. Currently there are three configurations mooted for TF-X – a single engine design, a twin-engine fighter and a highly agile version with canards.

While there is a requirement for a predicted 250 TF-X fighters for the Turkish Air Force itself, reports suggest that TF-X will also be aimed at the wider export market. With F-22 production halted, the F-35 optimised for strike and the other options being mid-life upgrades of the Eurocanards (Eurofighter, Rafale and Gripen) it is possible that the TF-X could turn into an export success in the mid-2020s and beyond for countries looking for a fifth generation air dominance fighter.

"The deal to help design the TF-X, represents a major coup for BAE Systems in keeping a critical part of the UK’s combat aircraft design capability alive."


While BAE Systems will help with design and development, this participation could also open doors to other parts of UK industry for specific systems or components that Turkey is unable to produce in-house. The Rolls-Royce EJ200 engines from the Eurofighter have already been tipped as the powerplant and were the subject of an MoU in 2015. A true stealth fighter may well require a matching engine, and this may also be an opportunity for Rolls-Royce to acquire the necessary expertise.

Other opportunities for UK industry may be in ejection seats (Martin-Baker), HUDs or HMDs (BAE Striker II) - indeed, BAE Systems already supplies its LiteHUD for TAI’s Hurkus basic trainer.

While Turkish defence electronics company ASELAN has already reportedly started work on an AESA radar, there could potentially be other opportunities for UK’s Selex ES (now Leonardo MW) which produces AESA radars for Eurofighter and Gripen as well as EO IRST and EW systems.

Finally, while Turkey’s own state missile house Roketsan boasts an impressive range of weapons, including stand-off missiles, precision bombs and anti-tank missiles, MBDA’s air-to-air portfolio ASRAAM and in particular the game-changing Meteor, would be an ideal fit for a fifth-gen air superiority combat aircraft.

Choosing a stealth partner


BAE Systems' stealth fighter Replica testbed never flew - but it gave the company valuable knowledge in LO design. (BAE Systems)

The collaboration may be significant for the UK, with BAE winning this design work over rival bids from Airbus Defence and Space and Saab, but it also represents a smart move by Turkey in selecting a European partner that has a long history in low-observable projects.

In the 1990s, for example, BAE Systems developed a secret stealth fighter concept called Replica that reached mock-up stage– partly as a back-up plan to collaboration with the larger US JSF programme. This home-grown stealth fighter, then showcasing the UK’s LO expertise, was Britain’s entry ticket to JSF at the highest level. Since then, the company has developed further with collaboration on F-35, and LO UAV projects, with the most recent being the Taranis UCAV demonstrator – seen by some knowledgeable observers as one of the most stealthy air vehicles ever. BAE is also working on a follow-on Anglo-French UCAV demonstrator in partnership with Dassault.

While strict firewalls and US ITAR knowledge sharing restrictions will mean that BAE will not be able to share or transfer all of its stealth knowledge developed with international partners, its hard-won in-house LO experience since Replica means that TAI has access to a highly competent industrial partner – especially when it comes to airframe, sensor and weapons integration.

The problem – what next for UK military aerospace?


What next for military aircraft designers after these? (BAE Systems)

The announcement comes at a critical time for Britain’s military aviation sector – as design and development work for new UK platforms becomes scarce. It is notable of that the five air key platforms (F-35, P-8, AH-64E, Protector and Zephyr) highlighted in the 2015 SDSR, only one (Zephyr) is actually designed and built in the UK.

While BAE Systems is currently busy adding capability to the Eurofighter Typhoon, the end of production may be in sight unless new customers are found. A mid-life Typhoon update in the 2020s means the best is yet to come, but it will still not require the full engineering capability or design expertise of a clean-sheet military aircraft.

Meanwhile, on the F-35 – which despite having entered service with the US Marines in 2015 and the USAF in 2016, first flew some 17 years ago in 2000 as the X-35. The UK, as Tier 1 partner on the project, has contributed heavily to the design, particularly for the STOVL ‘B’ variant. Now in full production and ramping up, UK industry is expected to benefit massively from its investment in the future. However, while future opportunities for support and ongoing upgrades will continue – again the initial design and engineering work is well in the past.

So too, for the BAE Hawk advanced trainer. First flying in 1974, the Hawk has been a spectacular British sales success, with over 1,000 sold. However, despite BAE updating it to latest T2 standard for the RAF, it was ditched by partner Northrop Grumman for the USAF T-X trainer requirement for a fresh design from Scaled Composites. Any hope that BAE’s design work would continue has now been dashed when NG/BAE took the decision earlier this month to not bid a proposal. The Hawk lives on, in the Advanced Hawk (previously ‘Combat Hawk’), developed in co-operation with HAL.

On the positive side of the equation, BAE is involved with the most challenging and potentially significant combat aircraft programme in Europe, the UCAS (unmanned combat air system) with Dassualt. This £1.5bn programme builds on the expertise and experience of Britain and France with their own demonstrators (Taranis and Neuron), for a low observable UCAV. With feasibility study complete, a demonstration programme, to begin in late 2017, will see two UCAS flight demonstrators by 2025, with operational stealth drones in the 2030s and beyond.

Yet, despite this cutting-edge aerospace technology, the jury is still out on how many UCAVs air forces will need in the future. The timescales to operational platforms (another 13 years away at least – and more likely 18) also mean that there is a significant gap in production between the end of Eurofighter at the end of this decade and the start of any UCAV manufacturing.

The fear, is that the reduction in UK defence programmes is gradually whittling away at the front-end of the UK’s end-to-end design, development, manufacturing and support base – with key capabilities, skills and expertise being lost over time. Indeed, there is much evidence from recent programmes (T-45, Astute and Nimrod MRA4) that suggests this has already happened.

Brexit may also deprive BAE Systems of access to the burgeoning EU defence R&D programme, which, if French lobbying has any impact, will feature combat aircraft relevant technology acquisition. The deal with Turkey would also help to fill this potential gap.

The deal to help design the TF-X, represents a major coup for BAE Systems in keeping a critical part of the UK’s combat aircrat design capability alive.

Same problem, elsewhere in Europe


Last year AirbusDS revealed this concept for Tornado replacement for the Luftwaffe for the 2040s (AirbusDS).

But a shortage of combat aircraft design projects is not just a problem facing the UK industry either – but across the whole of Europe’s defence sector.

The most significant recent clean-sheet pan-European combat aircraft to enter service, the A400M, had its first flight eight years go and its original requirement dates back to the 1980s. Outside UAVs, other ‘new’ European combat aircraft are either upgrades or modifications of existing types. The European defence sector has also singularly failed to dethrone US and Israeli leadership in UAVs – particularly in the MALE sector.

Saab, for example, has just rolled out its Gripen NG, and has future unfunded concepts beyond that, but has found its own lifeline working with Boeing to help design its T-X trainer.

Like Eurofighter, France’s Dassault can look forward to a mid-life Rafale upgrade in the mid-2020s – and is partnered with the UK on the Anglo-French UCAV.

Worst off, arguably, is AirbusDS, which in concert with other European companies has faced an uphill battle to attract political interest in a European MALE UAV platform. Last year AirbusDS revealed a proposal for a stealth fighter replacement for Germany’s Tornado fleet, but it faces the disadvantage of being outside both F-35 and the Anglo-French UCAS programmes as well as Berlin’s lukewarm approach to defence procurement.

Turkey’s growing ambition


Turkey has big plans for its military and civil aerospace sectors. (TRJet)

But not all countries are struggling with declining design work for their military sectors. Turkey has one of the most active and ambitious aerospace and defence industries and is working steadily to develop its indigenous capability – with a flurry of activity in recent years. State-owned TAI has moved from license-built production of F-16s and other aircraft, to designing and manufacturing its own aircraft. It has developed a basic trainer and light attack aircraft, the Hurkus, as well as the Anka MALE UAV. TAI has also produced an upgraded version of the A129 Mangusta attack helicopter, the T129 ATAK, in co-operation with original manufacturer, Leonardo.

The country has also ambitions in the civil aerospace sector – with a Turkish Regional Jet project being launched in 2015, to develop a family of regional airliners, beginning with a design based on the Dornier 328JET.

Space and a healthy missiles systems sector through the state-owned Roketsan round out Turkey’s growing aerospace sector. For aerospace companies willing to help Istanbul develop its aerospace industry further, there could therefore be other potential opportunities in the future.

Summary


An affordable, latest generation 'F-22' class stealth fighter could lead to export sales. (TAI)

The prospect of a growing UK defence partnership with Turkish strongman Erdogan, post the 2016 coup attempt, may be unpalatable in some quarters - but the deal is critical in that it helps the UK maintain an irreplaceable combat aircraft design capability – at a time when rival European defence companies are also scratching around for work. The prize is a juicy one – a large 200+ aircraft buy, potential export sales and a ‘European F-22’ style air dominance fighter that complements the F-35. The UK, too, through its experience in Replica, Taranis, F-35 and FCAS, is perhaps arguably the most advanced aerospace sector outside the US in LO technology – and thus safeguarding and protecting this expertise with as much design and technical work as possible, should be a clear strategic goal for UK Plc.

The, is also significant in that is an agreement to help develop a fighter aircraft with a non-EU, but NATO country (that is not the US (or Canada)) – and is thus a boost for those who see the UK striking deals with the wider world post-Brexit. The Turkish AF – twice the size of the RAF - is also a major power player on NATO’s southern flank – despite recent political upheavals.

However, it is important not to overstate this deal too much. The stated size of the contract, ‘£100m or more’ is insignificant in total development budgets for an advanced stealth project like this – which may top $25bn or more in total. Turkey, of course, will want to manufacture and develop as much technology in-house as possible and it is possible that TF-X itself may fall victim to outside forces or budget squeezes.

Yet despite these caveats, the partnership has major implications in helping maintain critical UK combat aircraft design capability, that without a spread of new projects to work on, might otherwise wither and die.

Tim Robinson
7 February 2017

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2017, 20:26
by talkitron
I haven't read anything about the software development side of the Japanese, South Korean and Turkish fifth generation programs. A large fraction of F-35 news is about software. One wonders how much money each country is willing to sink into software to compete with the F-35.

Another big issue is when the F-35 will become available for export to Arab nations. If the answer is 2025, then it would seem to beat to that market the Japanese, South Korean and Turkish offerings, which probably have 10-15 years of development time each ahead of them.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 00:51
by airforces_freak
talkitron wrote:I haven't read anything about the software development side of the Japanese, South Korean and Turkish fifth generation programs. A large fraction of F-35 news is about software. One wonders how much money each country is willing to sink into software to compete with the F-35.

Another big issue is when the F-35 will become available for export to Arab nations. If the answer is 2025, then it would seem to beat to that market the Japanese, South Korean and Turkish offerings, which probably have 10-15 years of development time each ahead of them.


Turkey has developed an indigenous mission computer for it's F-16 Block 30's which has been used as a test-bed for the TF-X. The primary focus has been on network centricity, real-time data-fusion (Air, Land and Sea).

Havelsan ( http://www.havelsan.com.tr/ENG/Main ) and MIKES of Turkey also has extensive experience with software development. They have both taken part in the development of software for the Boeing 737-MESA AEWC's and also the F-35.

On top of this Havelsan also recently acquired US Software company Quantum 3D (http://quantum3d.com ). Quantum 3D provides Boeing, Lockheed Martin, The Spaceship Company, KAI, Raytheon, Adacel, TRW, Honda, Thales etc with Software Simulation products for rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft. See http://quantum3d.com/press-releases/hav ... quantum3d/

On top of this the software development teams of BAE Systems and Rolls Royce are also part of the TF-X program.

The TF-X thus has a more solid foundation in software than the Japanese and South Korean's. The TF-X is essentially a Western NATO platform (with European Defence Giants on board).

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 02:30
by sferrin
Corsair1963 wrote:Just a poor mans F-35 equipped with two EJ200's instead of the P&W F135.... :wink:


And an AIM-9X knockoff

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 03:53
by airforces_freak
sferrin wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Just a poor mans F-35 equipped with two EJ200's instead of the P&W F135.... :wink:


And an AIM-9X knockoff


$44 billion program with BAE Systems and Rolls Royce as a technology partner? Hardly a 3rd world fighter.

As to the A2A being a AIM-9X knockoff: Perhaps. But being a knockoff does not negate its capabilities.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 04:29
by talkitron
airforces_freak wrote:The TF-X thus has a more solid foundation in software than the Japanese and South Korean's. The TF-X is essentially a Western NATO platform (with European Defence Giants on board).


Sounds like TF-X is the program to watch. Thanks for the info.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 08:54
by Corsair1963
talkitron wrote:I haven't read anything about the software development side of the Japanese, South Korean and Turkish fifth generation programs. A large fraction of F-35 news is about software. One wonders how much money each country is willing to sink into software to compete with the F-35.

Another big issue is when the F-35 will become available for export to Arab nations. If the answer is 2025, then it would seem to beat to that market the Japanese, South Korean and Turkish offerings, which probably have 10-15 years of development time each ahead of them.



BTW The Japanese Stealth Fighter is really just a "Demonstrator" at this stage. Personally, I doubt it will ever mature into the so-called F-3 that the media hypes all the time......Even Japan changed the name recently from ATD-X to just X-2.

Regardless, for now the F-35J is the name of the game for the JASDF. Yet, in another decade or so Japan hopes to join with a partner (or partners) to develop a 6th Gen Fighter.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2017, 02:29
by airforces_freak
Turkey confirms TF-X will be Twin Engined: http://en.c4defence.com/Agenda/ssm-s-tw ... ing/3860/1

FX-1 Design also chosen.

Image
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Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2017, 09:07
by airforces_freak
Turkey to display model of TF-X at IDEF 2017 fair in Turkey this week.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 05 May 2017, 17:52
by mixelflick
Can someone (anyone?) come up with a stealth fighter that doesn't look like an F-22/35 or another nations entry?

Oh wait a minute, LOL. The Iranians did! :) That's right everyone, the whole world laughed when they debuted their "stealth" fighter. But it wasn't a PAK FA, which borrows heavily from the YF-23a IMO. And it's not a J-31, which looks suspiciously like an F-35. Nor is it a J-20, which itself appears to be heavily influenced by the Mig !.42/44

Of course, I'm aware certain stealth features are similar. Perhaps that drives these designs. It is increasingly apparent to me though that the U.S. and Russia are far and away masters of the airframe. Weapons, engines, avionics, "stealth" and situational awareness also appear to be our forte', although I expect China to catch up in those areas quickly.

But credit given where it's due: Those Iranians are innovators! :shock:

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2017, 12:28
by maro.kyo
mixelflick wrote:Can someone (anyone?) come up with a stealth fighter that doesn't look like an F-22/35 or another nations entry?

Oh wait a minute, LOL. The Iranians did! :) That's right everyone, the whole world laughed when they debuted their "stealth" fighter. But it wasn't a PAK FA, which borrows heavily from the YF-23a IMO. And it's not a J-31, which looks suspiciously like an F-35. Nor is it a J-20, which itself appears to be heavily influenced by the Mig !.42/44

Of course, I'm aware certain stealth features are similar. Perhaps that drives these designs. It is increasingly apparent to me though that the U.S. and Russia are far and away masters of the airframe. Weapons, engines, avionics, "stealth" and situational awareness also appear to be our forte', although I expect China to catch up in those areas quickly.

But credit given where it's due: Those Iranians are innovators! :shock:


hmmm... maybe the 25dmu? well still looks like some F-15 + F-22 + YF-23 tho looks far different compared to KF-X or TF-X

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2017, 14:06
by airforces_freak
And the engine for the TF-X has been chosen. A new aircraft engine to be developed by Rolls-Royce and Kale Group using the EJ-200 as a base will power the new air superiority fighter. Rolls-Royce has described the engine as "next-generation".

BUSINESS NEWS | Mon May 8, 2017 | 8:59am BST

Rolls-Royce, Turkey's Kale Group to set up aircraft engine JV

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-tur...-idUKKBN1840MV

Turkey's Kale Group will set up a joint venture company with UK-based engineering firm Rolls-Royce to develop aircraft engines, including for Turkey's planned TF-X fighter jet, the company said on Monday.

Kale will hold 51 percent stake in the joint venture, while Rolls-Royce will have the rest, the statement said.

Kale said it aimed to develop both civilian and military aircraft engines, including for the TF-X, being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), one of several major defence projects which Ankara has launched.

In January, Britain and Turkey signed a defence deal worth more than 100 million pounds to develop Turkish fighter jets during a visit to Ankara by Prime Minister Theresa May.

The deal involves BAE Systems and TAI working together on the TF-X, which will be the first Turkish-made fighter jet and will replace the F-16 fighter fleet starting from the 2020s.

Kale Group is a provider of structural components, assemblies and kits to the aerospace industry, according to its web site.

(Reporting by Can Sezer; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk and Daren Butler; Editing by David Dolan)


Turkey’s Kale, Rolls-Royce To Produce TF-X Fighter Jet Engines
http://www.defenseworld.net/news/19221/ ... RBtWFKB3Vo

Turkey's Kale group will a launch a joint venture with UK's Rolls-Royce to develop and manufacture engines for fighter jet TF-X that is being developed locally.

The joint venture will be established by Kale and Rolls-Royce with 51 percent and 49 percent shares, respectively, Daily Sabah reported Monday.
Kale Group aims to develop jet engines for civilian and military use, especially for the Turkey's domestically-built fighter jet project TF-X.
Rolls-Royce previously declared its interest in the TF-X project, and the company CEO Warren East visited Turkey in October 2016 for the company's possible role in the project.

The TF-X project has turned to be of crucial importance in replacing the ageing F-16 fighter jets, which form the backbone of Turkish Air Force. The first batch of the jets are expected to be delivered by 2023.

Kale is already in a partnership with US aerospace giant Pratt & Whitney and the joint venture produces F-135 engine parts of F-35 fighter jets.
Group company Kale Aviation also supplies structural parts and sub-assembly services to civilian and military aviation giants including Boeing, Airbus, Spirit, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.

The TAI TFX is a twin-engine, all-weather fifth-generation Turkish aerial superiority fighter jet being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with technological assistance from BAE Systems of the United Kingdom.

The aircraft is scheduled to replace the Turkish Air Force's F-16s and is being planned to be offered to foreign air forces as well. The project is one of many ongoing military projects in Turkey.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 31 Oct 2018, 23:50
by marsavian
General Electric beats Rolls-Royce to power Turkey’s indigenous fighter jet

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... ghter-jet/

Image

The twin-engine TF-X will be powered by the F110-GE-129, left, or the F110-GE-132 engine.

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s aerospace authorities have chosen General Electric’s F110 family of engines to power the prototype and an initial batch of what will become Turkey’s first indigenous fighter jet, the TF-X.

A senior procurement official confirmed the choice, saying that the twin-engine TF-X will be powered by the F110-GE-129 or the F110-GE-132 engine.

“This is a stopgap solution until we have built our indigenous engine for the TF-X,” the official said.

Under the deal, the first prototype of the TF-X and an unknown number of initial batches would be powered by the F110 engine.

Turkey then plans to switch to an engine to be developed by TRMotor, a national engine consortium.

But some aerospace sources say the F110 may not be the ideal engine for a fifth=generation fighter. “If the Turks go for the GE option, they will have to compromise on the stealth capabilities of the TF-X,” a Paris-based defense specialist said.

Earlier this year, Turkey and Rolls-Royce came close to a strategic cooperation deal for the development and co-production of an engine for the TF-X. The British company and the Turkish government signed a letter of intent to finalize negotiations on the engine program by July 31, but the plan did not come to fruition.

Turkish officials say the idea behind the GE deal is to rely on foreign technology to eventually in the long term build an indigenous engine to power the TF-X.

Turkey wants to build the TF-X with know-how from BAE Systems. In January 2017, Britain and Turkey signed a deal worth more than £100 million (U.S. $128 million) to develop the Turkish fighter jet.

Turkey hopes to have the first test flights of the aircraft in 2023.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 01:43
by Corsair1963
Then the TFX is going to be much closer in size and shape to the F-22. Unlike something like the KFX or AMCA. Which, would be midsized and use engines like the F414 or EJ400....

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 15:30
by mixelflick
Does anyone here really think this is going to happen?

Let's say we assign percentages. Personally, I feel it's less than 50%. Others?

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 20:43
by marsavian
80-90%. Looks like they are going ahead with the S-400 so it's debatable whether they will ever receive their F-35s now depending on their rhetoric and President/Congress mood. TFX doesn't have to be as stealthy as F-22 just not as unstealthy as F-15. With BAE's help they should be able to get to the Su-57 0.1-1 sq m ballpark.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2018, 12:16
by sferrin
I am surprised with the engine. I'd think they'd go with an AL-31 or WS-10/20. (Not that the US engines are bad but that the .gov could just say, "seeeee ya" anytime they wanted.)

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2018, 15:49
by mixelflick
marsavian wrote:80-90%. Looks like they are going ahead with the S-400 so it's debatable whether they will ever receive their F-35s now depending on their rhetoric and President/Congress mood. TFX doesn't have to be as stealthy as F-22 just not as unstealthy as F-15. With BAE's help they should be able to get to the Su-57 0.1-1 sq m ballpark.


Wow, that high? Well, let's analyze it...

Provided BAE has the know-how, this could get quite interesting. Why they chose the F-110 as an interim engine is bizarre. They've already seen how dicey relying on American equipment can get with the F-35 situation. And just for the record, if I was a major contributor to F-35 development, I'd be furious right now. Be that as it may..

If they come up with something akin to SU-57 like stealth, but considerably cheaper and multi-role... would India be interested? I'm assuming they can't get the F-35, and the SU-57 either doesn't meet their needs or its prohibitively expensive. Potential customers would also be ME arab nations. And hey, now that we know it'll be twin engined, maybe Canada would be interested?!

In 20 years their acquisition malpractice should be reaching its apex, and they can finally pull the trigger on a fighter to replace their F-18A/B second hand Hornets :roll:

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2018, 17:24
by sferrin
mixelflick wrote:And just for the record, if I was a major contributor to F-35 development, I'd be furious right now.


They have only themselves to blame. It's not the US's fault Turkey shot themselves in the head.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2018, 22:03
by marsavian
If they come up with something akin to SU-57 like stealth, but considerably cheaper and multi-role... would India be interested? I'm assuming they can't get the F-35, and the SU-57 either doesn't meet their needs or its prohibitively expensive. Potential customers would also be ME arab nations. And hey, now that we know it'll be twin engined, maybe Canada would be interested?!


Yes, it could be in play for ME nations/India/Muslim countries if any good or cheap. However will it be more like a stealthy Mig-31 than a stealthy F-15 ? Sure the Turks will buy it but will it be good enough overall to compete against all the (semi-) stealthy export competition when it arrives ? TBD. Also the US can veto sales with a GE engine so they will need to make a completely native variant for export to anyone.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 03 Nov 2018, 13:04
by hephaestusaetnaean
Turkey and UK battle to save fighter jet project
LAURA PITEL JUNE 13, 2018
https://outline.com/rgHgg8
https://www.ft.com/content/9b6d7af6-6d6 ... 13e5c92914

- UK wants to develop its trading relationship with Ankara
- Turkish officials demand that Rolls-Royce shares sensitive technology
- High-level ministerial discussions attempt to resolve issue

Turkish and UK ministers are battling to save a flagship partnership to develop a fifth generation fighter jet.

Rolls-Royce, the British aero-engine group, has been working with Turkish industrial giant Kale to bid for the engine development contract on the TF-X jet, an ambitious project to produce Turkey’s first indigenous combat aircraft.

A dispute has emerged over the role of a company with close ties to Qatar and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The programme is a priority for President Erdogan, who wants to build a national defence industry to drum up nationalist support and reduce Turkey’s reliance on outsiders amid growing strains with many Nato allies.

It is also crucial for the UK, which wants to develop its trading relationship with Turkey and sees the partnership as key to preserving Britain’s ability to develop military aircraft given the dearth of UK fighter programmes once production of the Typhoon combat jet comes to an end in the mid 2020s.

Technology sharing raises concerns
On a visit to Turkey in January 2017, Theresa May said the fighter jet partnership marked “the start of a new and deeper trading relationship with Turkey and will potentially secure British and Turkish jobs and prosperity for decades to come”.

However, the project has run into problems after Turkish defence officials demanded that Rolls-Royce share sensitive technology with TR Motor, a company that is 55 per cent controlled by a subsidiary of BMC, a defence manufacturer whose major shareholders include the Qatari ministry of defence, and a businessman known for his links the Turkish president.

The fact this issue was discussed between the two ministers tells you how seriously this is being taken. Both sides remain committed to finding a resolution

Ministry of Defence
“The UK government does not want to fully lift export controls. They say: ‘what if in 10 years’ time there is a huge row with another country and we want to stop selling this to them?’,” said a Turkish official.

Rolls-Royce executives and British ministers have told Turkey that they cannot accept an arrangement that would see TR Motor own and manage the intellectual property of the programme.

“There are strict parameters around the TF-X programme,” said a person familiar with the situation. “Rolls-Royce doesn’t want a potential competitor to take the IP away and use it outside this programme for their own benefit.”

Calls between Turkish and UK ministers were planned this week to discuss the issue. Gavin Williamson, Britain’s defence minister, also discussed it with his Turkish counterpart, Nurettin Canikli, on the fringes of a Nato meeting last week.

IP issue threatens Rolls-Royce deal
Should the two sides fail to reach an agreement, Rolls-Royce could be forced to pull out of the programme. This could call into question the role of BAE Systems, which last year signed a £100m contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries to help design the jet. About 200 BAE engineers are working with TAI in the UK and Turkey.

The UK Ministry of Defence said: “The fact this issue was discussed between the two ministers tells you how seriously this is being taken. Both sides remain committed to finding a resolution.”

Other people close to the subject insisted that progress was being made, and that both sides were determined to overcome the obstacles.

“This is all part of the normal process of development programmes at this stage. We have had productive commercial discussion and are maintaining an active dialogue,” Rolls-Royce said. A team from the company will travel to Ankara for further talks after the presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.

During President Erdogan’s trip to London last month, the two sides appeared to have resolved the IP issue. An initial agreement was signed and a deadline was set for July 31 to finalise terms, including the sharing of technology and export conditions. However, Turkish officials later renewed their demand that TR Motor supervise the propulsion programme.

Turkey wants to retain full ownership
BMC produces vans, buses and military vehicles. It recently won the tender to produce the first fully Turkish-made battle tank.

The company is 49.9 per cent owned by the Qatari armed forces, Yasin Ozturk, a member of the board of directors, told Turkish defence magazine MSI in December. He said that a further 25 per cent was owned by Ethem Sancak, a Turkish business tycoon who once said in a newspaper he owned that after getting to know Mr Erdogan, he learnt that “divine love is possible between two men.”

Osman Dur, general manager of BMC Power, the BMC subsidiary that is working on the TF-X programme, insisted that the project “will benefit the country”.

“All the IP and similar intellectual property rights gained within the scope of this project will remain in Turkey and belong to the SMM [the Turkish government’s under-secretariat for defence industries], which is providing the funding for the project,” he said.

A Turkish official with knowledge of the negotiations said that BMC had offered financial support for the TF-X programme, which Turkey estimates will cost $30bn in total. He said that Qatar’s involvement could also lead to future sales of the jet to the small Gulf state.

The official added: “For us, the whole point is that we want to own it. We are trying to become an independent defence producer. We don’t want restrictions imposed by outsiders.”


That was five months ago. So it looks like Turkey is still having problems getting its preferred RR engines + tech.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 03 Nov 2018, 13:12
by marsavian
The official added: “For us, the whole point is that we want to own it. We are trying to become an independent defence producer. We don’t want restrictions imposed by outsiders.”


Develop it yourself then. Seriously what's with India, Turkey, South Korea etc wanting help on a single project and then wanting the propietary IP that went into that help. Why should an external supplier help create a future competitor over just one deal. This infantile thinking is pure comedy.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 03 Nov 2018, 14:40
by popcorn
marsavian wrote:
The official added: “For us, the whole point is that we want to own it. We are trying to become an independent defence producer. We don’t want restrictions imposed by outsiders.”


Develop it yourself then. Seriously what's with India, Turkey, South Korea etc wanting help on a single project and then wanting the propietary IP that went into that help. Why should an external supplier help create a future competitor over just one deal. This infantile thinking is pure comedy.

Probably Russia's biggest competitive advantage.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 23 Jan 2019, 15:55
by vilters
So, a few decades after its first flight, they are gonna build a plastic F-22 photocopy. :devil:

The Brists will knot "yes, yes, yes, yes", to any proposal, as long as they can provide the engines. LOL. :devil:

And then turn to Germany and France to build the: "Real European 6th gen". :P

It's called : Getting a free learning curve. :doh: Before doing the real work.

Re: TFX Thread

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2019, 15:08
by jetblast16
D9gI0PjXoAAKX60.jpg


Best shot I've seen yet of the mock up.. Strong resemblance to the American Raptor