Turkey, Russia consider developing combat aircraft
By Vugar Khalilov
Turkey’s Defence Industry chief Ismail Demir has said that Turkey and Russia are discussing cooperation in the development of the national combat aircraft, Yeni Shafak has reported.
“There are many cooperation items in our talks with Russia. These also include some issues related to the national combat aircraft,” Demir underlined.
He added that the production of the national combat aircraft, which will be completed in 2023, is a step-by-step process that includes necessary modifications, the renewal and the localization of certain parts. In this context, negotiations will be conducted with Russia for installation of alternative systems, Demir said.
He noted that a certain type of engine (F110) has been chosen for the aircraft, however necessary system changes can be implemented in the future.
The Defence İndustry chief stressed that the government had invited potential players in the field for the production of domestic engines in Turkey. A strategy will be created for them to come together and work hand in hand on a road map, he added.
Demir underlined that since Turkey lacks relevant experience in engine production, it is necessary to combine efforts together in a coordinated way. This is a new step in the national engine development process, he emphasized.
Furthermore, Demir stressed that the domestic TCG Anadolu amphibious assault ship (aircraft, UAV and SİHA carrier) will be delivered to the Turkish armed forces in early 2022.
“Our TCG Anadolu ship will be put into service in 2022, we are even working to have it in early 2022,” he stressed.
Commenting on the S-400 air defence systems bought from Russia, Demir stated that the process is being carried out in two steps: the first step includes direct procurement, while the second one envisages cooperation in certain areas.
“Steps are being taken in this cooperation as well. There have been concrete developments in this regard. This is a stage where there are quite a few details and certain steps are taken. As Turkey, we think that we should be more discreet here,” Demir said.
He said that Turkey is currently working on improving its air defence system. Commenting on Turkey’s SIPER high-altitude long-range air defence system, Demir refrained to provide detailed information about it.
He added that the new system will be more effective than HİSAR O+, which is also produced by Turkish companies and ultimately will be like the S-400 system.
Demir also said that the industry had already started a joint project in the production of nose cannons for the ATAK military helicopters and localization of other defence products will be continued as well.
Speaking about Turkey’s UAV sales to Ukraine, Demir ruled out the tension with Russia in this regard. He reminded that the sale took place as part of a certain production and investment project in Ukraine.
It should be noted that following the U.S. removal of Turkey from the F-35 program using the S-400 as an excuse, the latter accelerated its national combat aircraft project.
The contact was established with Russia for the development of the national jet, which is the most important project in Turkey’s history.
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