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

luciferdd

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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.
100 engines are not enough,when each TFX need two engines.Or Turkey only want 50 or enven less TFX fighters?Turkey will finally have to go for a new engines soon or later.
 

merzifonlu

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100 engines are not enough,when each TFX need two engines.Or Turkey only want 50 or enven less TFX fighters?Turkey will finally have to go for a new engines soon or later.
True, not enough.

Therefore, local engines will be used in the next blocks. What we need is to buy time to develop the domestic engine. This plan would not change even if the US had guaranteed to give F110 for all blocks.

The Altay Tank Project was a big fiasco, yes, but it also opened up our horizons in terms of engines.
 

luciferdd

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True, not enough.

Therefore, local engines will be used in the next blocks. What we need is to buy time to develop the domestic engine. This plan would not change even if the US had guaranteed to give F110 for all blocks.

The Altay Tank Project was a big fiasco, yes, but it also opened up our horizons in terms of engines.
Home making engines is a hard but good way,good luck
 

Indos

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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".

Indonesian government is not as ambitious as Turkey government under Erdogan, even in the past it is difficult to get funding to develop N 219 where the development cost is not that high. For KF21/IFX program, It is the second time we spend around 1 billion USD for an aerospace program, the last time we did is during Soeharto regime under N 250 program, but in the past it was completely our own program. N2130 program is more expensive but only continue until wind tunnel test, discontinued due to IMF objection for government to fund the program.

That 100 engineers coming from BAE system to help TFX program is inevitable for Turkey, Indonesia also did the same with its N 250 program which was started in the mid 1980, the help comes from Boeing as technical assistance as we have good relation with Boeing, but for N 219 it is a political decision not to be aided by foreign engineers, this is also why N 219 development cost is not expensive, other reason that make the program not expensive is because the win tunnel facility and people operated it are government employees under a research institution (BPPT), wind tunnel service is not cheap though especially if you do test like 300 polar, wind tunnel is extremely important to see plane performance during take off and landing, these are very crucial for plane development.

N 219 is also very important program for Indonesian Aerospace for transfer of knowledge purposes since it is the program as the bridge between very senior engineers with the new engineers with no experience in developing a new plane. It is crucial also for KF21/IFX program, particularly to give experience to younger engineers before working with Korean and Lockheed Martin in KF21/IFX program.

The first phase of development that started in 2011 for Indonesian part I believe is filled by very senior engineers with experience in N 250, N 2130, and N 219 program ( it was basically started in 2004 as conceptual design), but I also believe younger engineers were also involved for transferred of knowledge purposes as this is also a strategy any tech company should do. In the first phase of development we send 54 engineers. There was no Lockheed Martin at that time and current basic design (C 109) of the plane is derived from that crucial development phase that produce 2 versions, double engine planes with canard and without canard (C 103).

When I see Turkey tried to make large subsonic wind tunnel facility, I see Turkey is now targeting to challenge Airbus and Boeing for large passenger aircraft, I believe it is the long term goal. Indonesia I believe will focus on drone, small until mid size passenger aircraft like ATR 72, and fighter. We had dream to challenge the big boys in the past with N 2130 program, but that dream has been buried and now new paradigm has been raised
 

araz

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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.
I think Pakistan has been stung badly by the T129 saga. The main problem with the Turkish air platcoms is the lack of an ITAR free engine. As soon as the Turkish brothers overcome this hurdle I suspect there wipl be greater collaboration. It seems for the moment the PAF is siding up with the Russians for engine support.
A
 

Indos

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I think Pakistan has been stung badly by the T129 saga. The main problem with the Turkish air platcoms is the lack of an ITAR free engine. As soon as the Turkish brothers overcome this hurdle I suspect there wipl be greater collaboration. It seems for the moment the PAF is siding up with the Russians for engine support.
A

Not only ITAR free engine, current engine for TFX and Hurjet program are still in question mark as well as no official contract yet being announced by General Electric.

General Electric is keen to sell the engine to Turkey but I see approval from US government is still not yet clear.
 

araz

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Not only ITAR free engine, current engine for TFX and Hurjet program are still in question mark as well as no official contract yet being announced by General Electric.

General Electric is keen to sell the engine to Turkey but I see approval from US government is still not yet clear.
Which further reinforces my view point. Ithink Turkish products will remain slave to US will till they have a successful independent programme for envine manufacturing. Iam sure they will get there. As to TFX, PAF is on record having said the TFX ticks all the requirements for PAF. Interestingly PAF also has an kndegenous 5th generation offering which has had input from our Turkish brothers in initial design phases. Let us see what comes out of it. However, PAF also will remain hostage to some mafia for the engine.
A
 

merzifonlu

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Not only ITAR free engine, current engine for TFX and Hurjet program are still in question mark as well as no official contract yet being announced by General Electric.

General Electric is keen to sell the engine to Turkey but I see approval from US government is still not yet clear.
F404 engines, which will actually be used in Hürjet, were purchased without any problems. Otherwise, Hürjet production would not have started.

We'll see what happens with the F110 engines, which are suitable for dual use.
 

dBSPL

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It will be used in flight tests of the first 3 prototypes. The F110 will not be regular engine of the MMU.

TAI will first produce 3 prototype aircraft in the Block-0 configuration, and these aircraft will be used for testing purposes within the scope of the MMU program.


Which engine will be choiced by turkey for TFX project?

To quote from the relevant news of İbrahim Sünnetçi:

The tender process continues in order to determine the Main Contractor for Phase-II studies, which constitutes the second phase in the development process of the new generation original turbofan engine that will power the National Combat Aircraft (MMU/TF-X). In addition to TRMotor Power Systems (TR-M), which carries out Phase-I works for the Phase-II tender of the MMU/TF-X Engine Development Project, there are also Kale and TEI Firms.

The aim of the tender is to find the best solution and create a union of forces rather than competing between the companies. First of all, it will be looked at which company will propose the best solution, and then the task will be shared between the three companies that submitted the offer. When Phase-II studies are completed, a tender will be issued for Phase-III. The project will be implemented in phases.

According to the information obtained, TRMotor will submit its bid to the tender together with an engine OEM company. As reported by experienced journalists in the sector such İbrahim Sunnetçi, Ukrainian Ivchenko Progress currently collaborating with TR-M in MMU original engine studies. Ivchenko is already the official technical support provider in the development of Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and Air Turbine Start System (ATSS )for MMU

Most likely, MMU's engine will be devloped in partnership with Ivchenko-Progress, TR-M, TEI and KALE. TEI and Kale are among the sub-suppliers of the PW engine currently used in the F35 project. TEI is already a GE and TAI subsidiary and a worldwide supplier of turbofan engine parts and eginering. TR-M, on the other hand, is currently the fastest growing engine/design company in Turkey in terms of design and testing expertise personel.

The ultimate goal in the MMU project is the original engine. The US origin engine is only an interm solution to complete the aircraft avionics and flight tests phase of the project faster. It is a turbofan which is suitable in terms of diameter and dry weight ratio and is well known as a core in Turkish technical stages. The F110s for F16s were produced under license in TEI's Eskişehir factory for many years. They know this engine like the back of their hand. Using this on Block-0 is more about risk management. It is known with all its technical details and have experience with it for decades.

I had received information from a source close to the MMU/TF-X Project that TRMotor and Ivchenko Progress will be collaborating on the development of a new engine called TF-141 as part of the next generation engine requirement for the MMU/TF-X. Ivchenko Progress representative, whom I had the opportunity to meet during the SAHA Expo 2021 Defense, Aerospace Industry Fair, stated that they proposed the AI-9500 Turbofan Engine based on the AI-322F engine within the scope of the MMU/TF-X Engine Development Project.

However, a TRMotor representative, whose opinions I consulted, stated that the proposal for the AI-9500F with a thrust capacity of 9,500kgf (approximately 21,000lbf) is no longer on the agenda, and that this engine, designed 10 years ago, is an old proposal. The AI-9500F was previously proposed as a co-development option for the HAL Tejas LCA Mk1A Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) during the Aero India 2009 Exhibition, but chose the GE product F404-GE-IN20 Turbofan Engine for its Indian needs.

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On April 20, 2017, TRMotor, founded by SSTEK(Defense Industry Technologies) A.Ş and currently owned by state-TAF foundation companies, SSTEK A.Ş and TUSAŞ, and is positioned like a top mind in the process of designing and developing a new generation engine in order to meet Turkey's military and civil aircraft engine needs, especially the MMU/TF-X Program; and to coordinate the existing capabilities in the sector in line with this goal ( to directing works such as company X in the hot section, company y in charge of the cold section).

According to the information I have obtained, the thrust power has also been clarified within the scope of Phase-I, where the Conceptual Design studies of the new generation original turbofan engine to be developed for the MMU/TF-X Aircraft are carried out. However, this information cannot be shared with the public at the moment. The total weight of the engine is calculated as approximately 2 tons. The original turbofan engine, which will be designed in accordance with the requirements of the 5th generation engine, will also have 'supercruise' and 'stealth' features.

The weight of the 29,000lb class F110-GE-129 Engine is given as 1,805kg, while the weight of the 32,000lb class F110-GE-132 Engine is given as 1,837kg. The thrust of the F110-GE-132 Engine, which is open to growth, can be increased up to 36,000lb with a 10% growth to be achieved thanks to the technological improvements to be made.Therefore, I expect the MMU/TF-X Engine to be a 5th generation engine that will be developed over the F110 Engine, which Turkey has been carrying out parts production, final assembly and testing activities for many years and is well known.

https://www.defenceturkey.com/tr/ic...faz-ii-asamasi-icin-yakinda-ihale-acacak-4854 ( November 22, 2021)
 
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merzifonlu

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It will be used in flight tests of the first 3 prototypes. The F110 will not be regular engine of the MMU.

The F110 engine will be used not only in prototypes, but also in approximately the first 50 aircraft. SSB president Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir said "F110 will be used for a certain number of aircraft". If it were to be used only in prototypes, he would say "We bought it for prototypes".
 

dBSPL

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Emphasizing that this document will be slightly different from the classical call for proposal documents, Demir said: "This has been published to potential players in Turkey's national jet engine journey and they should come together to reconsider this offer and create a roadmap for domestic engine production. We will form a strategy of walking hand in hand on a roadmap where all the existing capabilities are on the table. We have important capabilities in manufacturing. TEI has demonstrated very important manufacturing capabilities. Further material research and manufacturing techniques are being studied, but the call for proposal we mentioned is a new step in our national engine development process."

"There is no problem with the Hürjet engine also. We started from the beginning with a guarantee that there would be no problem, so to speak. We did not make an alternative plan in that respect. We do not expect any trouble."


Actually, İsmail Demir does not say anything other than the information contained in defense circles, at the Defense and Aerospace Industry Global Strategies Conference in December.

In response to the embargo threat at the conference, Demir stated that there was no problem in the supply of f110 engines and that the MMU engine production call for proposal document was a study that included a domestic engine to be produced in Turkey.

Maybe f110 will be used in first 50 aircraft, maybe it will not go further than Block-0, these are relative estimates. Ultimately, one thing is certain, one of the main objectives of the MMU project is to achieve the capability of producing a new generation turbofan engine in TR.
 

Polestar 2

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I think for a country size like Turkey, its impossible to produced an advance fighter jet 100%. There are simply too much investment needed. Even for countries like UK and France of trillion economy, they barely just make it.

A domestic production of 70% - 80% are considered very good. Look at SK and Japan, even with their quite advance industries. They still need certain support from US or western to complete their military project.
 

dBSPL

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It's all about wanting, and showing a will.

France with Safran, UK with RR and Germany MTU, they keeps the expertise domestically as much as it needs on an economic scale, and benefits from the union of forces within the western bloc on an uneconomic scale. In such countries, the state maintains its role as market regulator and supervisor in strategic sectors, but company structures are extremely liberal and based on profitability.

In the east, states that have problems in full access to these technologies can subsidize such projects with government support and regardless of any profitability factor. For example, probably China's company acquisitions across Europe exceeded billions of dollars. China has invested so many tech-based companies about to about to bankrupt, mostly to gain access to know-how in certain areas.

It is really meaningless to try to create a correlation with the size of the country's economies by completely ignoring this huge difference. It should be the technical infrastructure, the workforce and the structure of the relevant ecosystem that needs to be looked at.

Does it make sense for the UK today to produce an aviation engine completely independent of the US, completely ignoring resource efficiency? Is the UK in any way a country subject to the threat of US sanctions? Is there such a risk in the future? Or, in fact, UK, Italian, German aviation companies have reached tens of billions of dollars in the US aviation sector and are not the countries that make the most of it?

Theoretically, these countries such France,UK can also advance in these technologies on a national scale if they need, and France is already progressing in a certain framework. In other words, what China has achieved here is not a technological achievement that France or England cannot achieve.
 
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