January 14, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin Corp. has sold its 42 percent share in joint venture company TUSAS Aerospace Industries (TAI) to Turkish Aircraft Industries (TUSAS) as part of Turkey's plan to consolidate its defense industry into a single company.
The sale recognizes that the joint venture met Turkey
's goal of establishing an indigenous aerospace manufacturing capability and that TAI has matured to operations as a stand-alone company.
TAI was established in 1984 as a joint venture company supporting the industrial participation program for Turkey's purchase of F-16 aircraft. Under the original charter, Lockheed Martin (then General Dynamics) owned 42 percent, General Electric owned 7 percent and Turkish interests owned 51 percent of TAI. GE
is also selling its shares to TUSAS at this time.
TAI produced 240 F-16 aircraft for Turkey during the 1980s and 1990s and assembled 46 F-16s for the Egyptian Air Force. Building on these operations, the company expanded its activities to include aerostructures manufacturing and production of other fixed and rotary wing aircraft, in addition to aerospace design and development.