Turkish Air Force - Türk Hava Kuvvetleri

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
If the $20 billion arms sale (that includes 40 F-16V Block 70 fighter jets as well as upgrades to Turkey’s current F-16 fleet) is cleared by the Congress, Turkey may still have to wait a long period of time before it receives the new jets amid an F-16 production backlog.

The F-16 backlog seems to be around 120. I don't know what the production rate of F-16s is at Lockheed-Martin, but i wouldn't be surprised if its 10 per month. Than one year waiting shouldn't be a big problem.

But if the sale is blocked by the congress, then Turkey has to step up the development of the indigenous stealth fighter program, while searching for an alternative. It is highly unlikely that Turkey considers the Rafale, will they go for the EF2000? Or will they be that disappointed that their rivals can get the F-35 without any problems, and Turkey can not get the F-16V or even upgrade packages, to the point that Turkey will order the Su-35 or something else Russian?

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The Bunker Group

Bit few weeks old, however seems this is asside from TFX is what Turkiye going to put their card on. Bayraktar Kizilelma seems Turkish leverage on having carrier base aircraft. Since F-35 is going to off limit for some time (perhaps until Sultan Erdo gave up the throne), they are goingbto put this Kizilelma in their LHD as light carrier concept.

F-16V (newly build and upgrade kits) prolong bargaining seems going to be Turkiye incentives to gain more independent on their MIC. However engine still.seens going to be their Achilles heels. This Kizilelma still using Ukrainian turbofan.

For that I do believe Turkiye keeping their supply line to Ukraine open not only as testing ground for their UCAV, but also gaining access to what's left on Ukrainian MIC. Motorsich practically what Turkish media and forums talk about as big price on Ukrainian MIC.


The Bunker Group

Turkiye first TFX prototype begin their taxi run. Again the issue on the engine choices become potential problems that not only can prolong the program full production, but also Sultan Erdo ambition to export this TFX.

Engine problem already creating export problem before for Turkiye T129 Atak gunship helicopter. Philippines T129 order begin to come after long lobbying to US not only from Turkish and Philippines side, but also (if the rumours was true) from Italian (as A129 producer which T129 base on).

As Kizilelma UCAV above that using Ukrainian Turbofan, Turkiye TAI still not put anything official on what will be the engine of choices for TFX prototype let alone the production model. The F110 the drive article put, as far as I see from Turkiye media and forums is still speculation. Speculation that come from Turkiye licensing agreement on F110 production for their F-16.

India and Japan ambition for their own fighters also being hampered with problem on developing their own turbofan (Kaveri for India and XF9 for Japan). This with the fact (despite Turkiye fanboys bragging) that India and Japan stage on their turbofan development is already in more advance stages then Turkiye turbofan.

Turkiye Tusas program of TF-6000 and TF-1400 both aim for Kizilelma UCAV and their helicopters, seems on progress. However looking on their schedule, I do have doubt that TF-6000 can move to production trials as expected time schedule, unless some outside expertise from mature turbofan producers can be gain. Perhaps they already have gain some access from Ukrainian Motorsich considering the situation now. Ukrainian MIC do really need money and their engineer pools do really need jobs (and safety).

This is just my own speculation, but considering Tusas previous effort to gain Rolls Royce help seems bogged down so far, gaining Motorsich expertise is their best hope to exelerate their own learning curve. After all despite all the efforts, jumping learning curve most likely can happen with external help from mature producers.