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More than just fighter jet: Turkey’s MMU investments to lift exports

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More than just fighter jet: Turkey’s MMU investments to lift exports

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New facility established for the MMU project, Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 26, 2022. (Courtesy of TAI)
BY DAILY SABAH WITH AA

The new facilities established by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with huge investments will primarily serve the needs of the National Combat Aircraft (MMU) project while also contributing to the country's economy through exports, the company head said Wednesday.

Temel Kotil commented on the investments, such as the National Combat Aircraft Engineering Center, the Composite Production Building, the Space Systems Engineering Center and the Factory Level Component Maintenance and Repair Control Center, which TAI recently opened, in an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA).
Kotil said that for an aircraft to be a national combat aircraft, it must be completely domestic, as it doesn't make sense to get parts of it from other countries like the landing gear or an engine. If some parts of it are not produced domestically, it wouldn’t be a "national combatant" but a product manufactured under license, he said.

“That's why we have to make everything of the National Combat Aircraft domestically,” said Kotil.

The TF-X MMU will be unveiled for the first time on March 18, 2023, and will make its maiden flight in 2026.

It is a fifth-generation jet with similar features to Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II. The domestically built aircraft is being developed to replace the Turkish air force's F-16 fighters as they are gradually phased out until the 2030s.

Stating that they also built a wind tunnel for the project, Kotil noted that they currently need to do a lot of tests in the wind tunnel.
The landing gear and engine of the plane will be made in Turkey. Each plane needs to be tested before flying whether the radar can see it or not. We must establish this facility,” he said, saying that since the aircraft needs a lot of material and parts to be produced domestically, the investment into the project is a lot higher.

Kotil went on to say that it would be a pity if such extensive investments were limited to the MMU and that they aim to benefit from the facilities in different axes and projects.

Reiterating that they established a very large facility of 95,000 square meters (1.02 million square feet) as the Composite Building, Kotil said this facility will also allow them to work for plane makers such as Boeing and Airbus.

Emphasizing that as a company, they are making technology investments in the country, Kotil said: “If you are doing something big, it has to be domestic and national.”

To strengthen its claim in the aviation industry, TAI officially launched several facilities, including the much-anticipated MMU’s Engineering Center and the Composite Production Building in a ceremony held on Jan. 6.

The MMU Engineering Center was established with an investment of TL 220 million (about $16.3 million). It is set to employ some 2,300 people where the works on the national combat jet, dubbed “Turkey’s survival project,” will be maintained.

Equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, the engineers will be able to carry out all their activities at the center without an external dependence.

IMO this is one project that Pakistan should become a part of. Just like With f-35 program different countries are tasked with different parts. This way Pakistan can also be part of the project and who knows it may even allow Pakistan the technological advances for its own project AZM
 

A.P. Richelieu

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More than just fighter jet: Turkey’s MMU investments to lift exports

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IMO this is one project that Pakistan should become a part of. Just like With f-35 program different countries are tasked with different parts. This way Pakistan can also be part of the project and who knows it may even allow Pakistan the technological advances for its own project AZM
How do you suggest Pakistan can be involved if all design and manufacturing is done in Turkey?

”Kotil said that for an aircraft to be a national combat aircraft, it must be completely domestic”
 

Falcon26

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Pakistan has been repeatedly offered to be part of the TFX program, but Pakistani planners haven’t responded with the seriousness such programs require. Instead, PAF has focused on its vanity project AZM. Project AZM is unlikely to be a real project but the odds more likely that it will simply be a renaming of a Chinese platform.

Pakistan often chooses expediency over making the hard choices needed. This is repeated from military to civilian policy planning. This is unlikely to change.

Pakistan will miss the train and in a decade or so, will be back to square one.
 

Indos

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Pakistan has been repeatedly offered to be part of the TFX program, but Pakistani planners haven’t responded with the seriousness such programs require. Instead, PAF has focused on its vanity project AZM. Project AZM is unlikely to be a real project but the odds more likely that it will simply be a renaming of a Chinese platform.

Pakistan often chooses expediency over making the hard choices needed. This is repeated from military to civilian policy planning. This is unlikely to change.

Pakistan will miss the train and in a decade or so, will be back to square one.

Dont jump to 5 generation program, developed smaller and less complicated plane first. Civilian plane can be the choice. The design capability needs to be developed.

Even wind tunnel expertise needs to be acquired if you dont want to delegate the wind tunnel test to foreign country company/institution. Building wind tunnel facility now will also not make us suddently have the ability to test aircraft performance, it needs at least 8-10 years to develop the human resources. Even a model plane is not something easy to build, the density of the material inside the model for example needs to mimic the actual plane structural being developed

Indonesia has its first wind tunnel in late 1970's ( 4 years to make one ) and make the more modern one in 1990, even with this experience the engineers are still learning until Today.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Dont jump to 5 generation program, developed smaller and less complicated plane first. Civilian plane can be the choice. The design capability needs to be developed.

Even wind tunnel expertise needs to be acquired if you dont want to delegate the wind tunnel test to foreign country company/institution. Building wind tunnel facility now will also not make us suddently have the ability to test aircraft performance, it needs at least 8-10 years to develop the human resources. Even a model plane is not something easy to build, the density of the material inside the model for example needs to mimic the actual plane structural being developed

Indonesia has its first wind tunnel in late 1970's ( 4 years to make one ) and make the more modern one in 1990, even with this experience the engineers are still learning until Today.
True and on that note, Turkey also invited Pakistan to the Hurjet. Yet once again, our planners lack 'viyun' (vision) and a real understanding of 'sahnse' (science) to appreciate how valuable that offer is (i.e. learn how Turkey's developing its first fast jet combat platform). The PAF sent a 2-year mission to TAI to 'study' the TFX. In all likelihood, those guys already made their decision and are simply spending the remaining time doing non-productive things. They should be studying the Hurjet.
 

Indos

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True and on that note, Turkey also invited Pakistan to the Hurjet. Yet once again, our planners lack 'viyun' (vision) and a real understanding of 'sahnse' (science) to appreciate how valuable that offer is (i.e. learn how Turkey's developing its first fast jet combat platform). The PAF sent a 2-year mission to TAI to 'study' the TFX. In all likelihood, those guys already made their decision and are simply spending the remaining time doing non-productive things. They should be studying the Hurjet.

Hurjet is basically a trainer and JF 17 double seat can do similar role like Hurjet so I see that is maybe the reason for Pakistan not to jump into that program.

From what I understand Turkey asked Pakistan to join TFX when the basic design of TFX has already been freezed, so less experience can be gain from design capability perspective.

TFX started in the same time KF21/IFX is started, which is in 2011. As far as I know, In the beginning Turkey doesnt have any interest to have partner on the development beside BAE system that provide around 100 engineers during the design phase. That is huge number and this is why they are reluctant to ask other countries to join the program.

Their economy was still good at that time, it then turn quite bad when inflation keep raising which is accompanied with Central Bank wrong policy due to Erdogan intervention. I am not talking current situation, but Erdogan has already had some fight with Turkey Central Bank quite long.

Due to economic situation, Turkey started to ask countries like Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia to join the program. Indonesia is included since we have chance at that time to left KF21/IFX program during 2018-2020 period.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Hurjet is basically a trainer and JF 17 double seat can do similar role like Hurjet so I see that is maybe the reason for Pakistan not to jump into that program.

From what I understand Turkey asked Pakistan to join TFX when the basic design of TFX has already been freezed, so less experience can be gain from design capability perspective.

TFX started in the same time KF21/IFX is started, which is in 2011. As far as I know, In the beginning Turkey doesnt have any interest to have partner on the development beside BAE system that provide around 100 engineers during the design phase. That is huge number and this is why they are reluctant to ask other countries to join the program.

Their economy was still good at that time, it then turn quite bad when inflation keep raising which is accompanied with Central Bank wrong policy due to Erdogan intervention. I am not talking current situation, but Erdogan has already had some fight with Turkey Central Bank quite long.

Due to economic situation, Turkey started to ask countries like Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia to join the program. Indonesia is included since we have chance at that time to left KF21/IFX program during 2018-2020 period.
The issue isn't the redundancy between JF-17 and Hurjet (which is there), but rather, the opportunity to learn things, like how to design, develop, build, test and qualify an original flight control system. Turkey is doing this right now with the Hurjet. Even as the end-user this is a critical area to master because it impacts your ability to integrate weapons to the platform. We've accepted that it'd be decades before Pakistan would design and develop a truly original solution, but this inability or unwillingness to learn what others are doing is what's killing us. This isn't restricted to the armed forces; it's a societal-wide problem.

I'll give you an example. I was at a dinner party 14 years ago where an uncle asked some kids, "what are the 5 pillars of Islam..." So the kids answered, "Salah, Fasting, Zakat, Hajj..." and they got stuck on the 5th one. Then another uncle joins and he too is stuck on the 5th one. Then this other uncle says, "it's Jihad." I'm like, "no, it's not Jihad...it's the Shahadah." Then he starts arguing with me that no, Jihad is one of the 5. I told him the hadith where Rasul'Allah (saw) literally explained what the 5 are and the hadith where he said, "if there was a SIXTH, it'd be Jihad..."

Uncle jee was like, "are you telling me that we were taught wrong?." Notice the response? It wasn't, "I'm not sure of that evidence" (which would've been fine as it'd be on me to prove then that the hadith was solid). Instead, the guy didn't care about the evidence, he was offended at the possibility that he could be wrong. This is the malicious personality trait of Pakistanis that holds us back. @SQ8 @JamD @kursed
 
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Arulmozhi Varman

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True and on that note, Turkey also invited Pakistan to the Hurjet. Yet once again, our planners lack 'viyun' (vision) and a real understanding of 'sahnse' (science) to appreciate how valuable that offer is (i.e. learn how Turkey's developing its first fast jet combat platform). The PAF sent a 2-year mission to TAI to 'study' the TFX. In all likelihood, those guys already made their decision and are simply spending the remaining time doing non-productive things. They should be studying the Hurjet.

And why should Pakistan join Turkey on a project when Pakistanis claim that they had already developed JF17 and was part of development process? Hurjet even if it comes on time wouldn't provide the advantages JF17 provides in terms of combat effectiveness. In all likelihood from what Pakistanis say in this forum, Pakistan is ahead of Turkey in fighter programme.
 

Tshering22

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Due to economic situation, Turkey started to ask countries like Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia to join the program. Indonesia is included since we have chance at that time to left KF21/IFX program during 2018-2020 period.

It was sensible of you to stick to the Korean project. Funding 2 different programs would become too costly for your government. TF-X seems like a fine project, but the project is designed to specifically meet Turkish military needs that may be very different compared to Indonesia's or Malaysia's requirements.
 

merzifonlu

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For first app. 50 planes. In the next blocks, the domestic engine will be used.

And no, from the very beginning, Turkiye sought partners to share the financial burden, I know that for sure. The Turkish economy was not very good back then.

The truth of the matter is that since Turkiye has embarked on such a project for the first time, no one has trusted and became a partner. Indonesia said, "I've started with South Korea, thank you," and politely declined the offer. Others made other excuses, blah blah blah.

Actually, what surprised me the most was the design support provided by the UK. I was really surprised at this because the same UK imposed an embargo on Turkey even on the ejection seats used in the planes! They probably said, "The Turks can't produce it anyway, let's look at the money we can earn".
 
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merzifonlu

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F110 is only used for test,americans will not sell more F110 engines to Turkey to Let the Turks mass produce their TFX fighters.
This is not important. In that case, we will withdraw about 100 relatively old F-16s from service and use the engines they have. And the thing is, we have the ability to replicate those engines exactly, including the hot zone. Therefore, maintenance will not be a problem. But we don't want to do that. That's why we formally applied to buy the engines.
 

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