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Pakistan - Turkey (PAC-TAI) Collaboration for NGFA-TFX 5th Gen Aircraft l Updates, News & Discussion

The Eagle

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During an interview with Rana Mubashir-Aaj News, Mr. Temel Kotil, President & CEO TAI said that TF-X is now a “Turkish-Pakistani fighter”. Dr. Rizwan Riaz (AVM) Pro Dir RIC & VP NSTP adds that it is a 5th Gen Fighter Aircraft in which Pakistan & Turkiye are now collaborating. The link to TV program is as follows along with a documentary picture being shared on the Forum.


In above TV Program, the concerns have talked about the level of collaboration from the ground level to exchange program. However, details are not being shared in depth but it helps to have a bit of idea about cooperation between both countries.

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A little background about Pakistan Turkiye possible collaboration in TFX

Back in 2017, ACM Sohail Aman said:

"We are integrating our technology with friendly countries, including Turkey. We are thinking of producing the next-generation aircraft by pooling resources with them. For this, the basic framework and agreements have been made.
The baseline is that we have to develop high-end technology ourselves. Of course, the American and Western technologies are better, but if it is unavailable, then we have to make the best use of our own capabilities and our friends."
"I consider it a breach of promise on their part because the United States promised to co-fund this operation (as part of its foreign military assistance). They didn’t adhere to this promise, which is very sad. As a responsible nation, you don’t do this. American funding for F-16s would have been a win-win situation for both.
While that happened, we kept looking at other options. I think we have some of the leading options both in China and Russia. We are also collaborating with Turkey for developing a next generation aircraft."


Then after in 2019, during an interview with Alan Warnes, PAC Kamra Chairman, AM Ahmer Shahzad says as follows.
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In view of above statements/interviews, it appears that Pakistan - Turkiye collaboration was discussed before as well and what CEO TAI recently revealed is not totally a new development.

Project AZM
  • The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has formally announced it will commence development of a 5th-generation fighter, medium altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and munitions under the banner of “Project Azm” (i.e. resolve or determination).
  • AvDI’s long-term endeavour is clearly the 5th-generation fighter program (FGF). In the past several years, several factors emerged which analysts thought would shape the PAF’s next-generation fighter pursuits, most notably the rise of the AVIC FC-31 Gyrfalcon. While the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) is clearly progressing in developing the fighter, it is unclear if the PAF will pursue it. If not the FC-31, then realistically only two other alternate courses remain: the TAI TFX and an original design.
  • Pakistan has been billed as a prospective partner in the TFX, Turkey’s next-generation fighter effort. On repeated occasions since 2016, Turkish government and industry and Pakistan MoDP officials confirmed the link. However, the Pakistan MoDP’s statements regarding the matter had only verified Ankara’s invitation, but it was unclear if the approach was commercially oriented (akin to PAC’s work in supplying Anka parts) or in relation to possible PAF procurement.
  • The PAF itself did not comment on TFX, but aviation journalist Alan Warnes (who is directly in touch with the PAF) reported in May that the TFX is “likely to figure in the PAF’s new generation fighter requirement.”

The following details is hereby quoted and copied from Wikipedia as a refresher and for the ease of readers.


From the original source TF - TUSAS


In order to meet Turkish Air Force (TurAF) requirements beyond 2030s, an indigenous design and development program aims to replace the aging F-16 fleet of TurAF.

Within the scope of TF-X Program, Turkey will become one of the few countries to possess the necessary technologies, engineering infrastructure and production capabilities. Once the engineering activities on all the critical technologies are accomplished (e.g. increased situational awareness, sensor fusion, low observability, weapon bay, …etc), which are needed by a 5th generation (or beyond) jet fighter aircraft.

TF-X aircraft is planned to be kept operational in the TurAF inventory until 2070s and will be interoperable with other critical assets of TurAF such as F-35As.

The TF-X indigenous design and development program prime contract between Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) of Ministry of Turkish National Defence and Turkish Aerospace has been signed on 5th of August 2016.

The timing of this signature alone, is a key demonstrator of Turkey’s determination of running mega-projects uninterruptedly, even under extra-ordinary conditions.

Currently, the prime contract covers the initial four (4) years (starting after signature of major subcontracts) which will end up with completion of preliminary design phase. Within this period beyond the design and development of TF-X Aircraft, engineering capabilities, technology development activities (for key sensors like radar, electronic warfare..etc.), test infrastructures establishment and certification processes will be performed and extensive capabilities for a new generation jet fighter design, development and production will be gained by Turkish industry.

TF-X aircraft will be a multi-role aircraft, it will be designed mainly for air-to-air role with a consideration to air-to-surface roles as well. Upon engineering analysis, TF-X aircraft will be a multi-role aircraft, it will be designed mainly for air-to-air role with a consideration to air-to-surface roles as well. Upon engineering analysis, preliminary calculations, based on received information of suppliers of candidate engines, TF-X aircraft is decided to be a twin engine configuration.

Turkish Fighter-TF, the 5+ Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft, provides significant capabilities in both Air to Surface and Air to Air combat requirements. Turkish Aerospace’s survivable, strong and agile platform Turkish Fighter is a fully aware warrior, with intelligent and strong combat capabilities.

Turkish Fighter provides air dominance through:

- Increased air to air engagement ranges with Novel Weapons
- Precise and accurate weapon firing from internal weapon bays at high/supersonic speed
- Augmented lethality with support of Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks.

Other information including Features & Technical data can be found on official website by visiting the given link as above.

Article in Combat Aircraft on TF-X from January
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Turkey's most popular defense industry and military aviation news platform disclses as follows.
The first prototype of National Combat Aircraft (MMU) will reach the assembly phase by the end of this year.


Development Schedule Overview (Wikipedia)​

Development Phase-1 was expected to officially commence by the end of 2014,[37] however, initial conditions were met and the project has officially started in late 2018.

On June 30, 2021, Turkish Air Force made an official presentation about the TF-X program to the press. In the presentation, it was stated that Phase-1 Stage-1 had started with preliminary design works, right after T0 stage. As part of preliminary design activities, system requirements review (SRR) is currently being carried out. By the end of 2022, system functionality review (SFR) and system requirements review (SRR) will be completed. Thus, the preliminary design activities will come to an end. The program is expected to go to the next stage by 2023 when the initial roll-out occurs with engines capable of taxiing.[1]

Phase-1 Stage-2 involves detailed design and qualifications carried out in the 2022-2029 period. The aircraft will roll out in 2023, critical design review (CDR) activities will be carried out in 2024, the production of the first aircraft, called Block-0, will be completed in 2025 and the first flight will be accomplished in 2026. Until that date, TAI aims to manufacture 3 prototypes.[1] The Block-1 configuration is planned to be developed until 2029. Manufacture of 10 Block-1 fighter jets are planned within the scope of Phase-2, and aircraft will be delivered to the Turkish Air Force between 2030 and 2033.[1] In Phase-3, between 2034 and 2040, development and mass production activities of other TF-X blocks is planned.[1]

Design​

TF-X is the first 5th-generation aircraft involving digital twin technology for the design and production.[38][39]

Requirements​

In June 2021, Turkish Air Force, in a presentation made to the press, announced its requirements for minimum capabilities of the TF-X.[1]

  • Improved aerodynamics and propulsion
  • Super-cruise
  • Sufficient and optimized combat radius
  • Advanced and internal multi-spectral sensors (EW and RF/IR)
  • Low observability
  • Sensor fusion and autonomy
  • Improved data-link capabilities for network enabled warfare
  • High precision stand-off weapons

Airframe​

Hüseyin Yağcı, TAI's chief engineer on the TF-X program, has stated that all three conceptual designs thus far feature a design optimized for low radar cross-sectional density, internal weapons bays, and the ability to supercruise, features associated with fifth-generation fighter jets.[5]


Mockup, rear view
TAI's Advanced Carbon Composites fuselage facility, which was commissioned to produce fuselages for Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) program,[40][41] has been tasked with developing an Advanced Carbon Composite fuselage for the TF-X. The Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) has also issued a tender for the development of a new lighter carbon composite thermoplastic for the TF-X fuselage.[42]

Radar and sensors​

ASELSAN is currently developing an advanced active electronically scanned array radar which will use gallium nitride (GaN) technology for the TF-X program.[43]

Avionics and equipment​

The TF-X will be integrated from the cockpit to accompanying UAVs (most likely the TAI Anka) through encrypted datalink connections.[44] The aircraft will likely use upgraded variants of Aselsan's own radar warning receiver (RWR), missile warning system (MWS), laser warning system (LWS), chaff and flare management, dispensing system and digital radio frequency memory (DRFM)-based jamming system, which already deployed with the other air platforms.[45][46]

Propulsion​

Prototypes will be equipped with General Electric F110 engines until national ones are developed by TRMotor.[47][48] There are ongoing negotiations with Rolls-Royce on development of an engine for the TF-X.[49]

Preliminary specifications​

Data from Turkish Aerospace[50]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Length: 21 m (68 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 14 m (45 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 6 m (19 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 60 m2 (670 sq ft)
  • Max takeoff weight: 27,215 kg (60,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric F110 for test flights (national engines to be developed by TRMotor) , 120 kN (27,000 lbf) thrust each
Performance

  • Maximum speed: 2,222 km/h (1,381 mph, 1,200 kn)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.8[3]
  • Combat range: 1,100 km (690 mi, 600 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 17,000 m (55,000[3] ft)
  • g limits: +9.0 g & -3.5 g
Armament

Avionics


It is pertinent to mention here that Project AZM is an umbrella entity by Pakistan to fulfill future defence needs with self reliance & indigenous programs. Without going into details about Project AZM, since the same is already explained and discussed in a dedicated thread, we shall continue here on topic of Pakistan Turkiye JV for NGFA by collaborating in TFX program.

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think@best

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It's a big news. BTW how does Pakistan manages these projects with respect to our economy performance. it cannot be justify. JFT ongoing. JC10 coming Now 5th gen with turkey
 

Bilal.

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@The Eagle Should we take this thread and locking of the original AZM NGF thread as endorsement by PDF that the in-house NGF is dead and the way forward will be collaborating on TFX?
 

KaiserX

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This is great news and benefits both nations immensely a huge win-win situation for both. I was honestly hoping that the PAF would piggy back onto an existing 5th generation fighter and go the joint venture route similar to what we have done with the JF-17.

Here is what both sides bring to the table-

Turkey
1. Mature/advanced electronics industry
2. Mature design system--> wind tunnel testing infrastructure
3. Experience from the F35 program. Turkey was producing the fuesalage for all the jets
4. Advanced missile industry- The SIPER long range missile will be the primary weapon for the TFX

Pakistan
1. Mature/Advanced aerospace industry with 20+ years of production record ie JF17 program
2. Access to the latest Chinese electronics/avionics/missile platforms
3. Involving Pakistan in the program gives Turkey access to the latest Chinese engines
4. An experienced air force program that will provide guidance on threat environment
5. Access to Chinese manufacterers


They key here will be the engine/propulsion system. The european/Americans/west would def not be trusted with such an important program. I am very very certain that the engines with be Chinese atleast inititally. It would be prefereable that the jet be designed around Chinese engines, thus this is where KAMRA might redesign TFX according to the PAFs requirements- This is KEY.


Both wides will gain immensely while saving cost, funds, and energy. Lastly the key here may be China. It is well known that pakistan-china-Turkey are working on an unmanned fighter to support future fighter platforms.


More than likely China may provide the FC-31 design which appears to be significantly similar to the TFX prototype. This also increases the likelyhood that Turkey may purchase a small batch of JF17B3 fighters to get access to the latest AESA radar and understand the PAFs design system. The front of the TFX looks similar to the JF17 if you ask me so I would not be surprised if such design cooperation was already ongoing for a few years.
 

The Eagle

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@The Eagle Should we take this thread and locking of the original AZM NGF thread as endorsement by PDF that the in-house NGF is dead and the way forward will be collaborating on TFX?

Nothing is dead neither it has to be taken in other words. NGF falls under AZM which is an umbrella to all new developments in regard to need of Pakistan Defence. I don't know why people keeps missing the point. I have already explained in the OP.

AZM is all about NGF, UAVs etc so that one thread cannot cater information or the information gets lost in pages. If you mean 100% indigenous for in-house then you should go back to the first page of AZM then read into what ACM Sohail Aman said back in 2017 and then try to understand what's new about Pakistan Turkiye collaboration.
 

dBSPL

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IMO, Kotil is a passionate and enthusiastic engineer. He is also one of the most humble corporate manager I have ever seen in my life. This man, spending time with young people and students day and night; also explain TAI's vision and work to people in all panels and programs he attends, at a level that "everyone can understand". He is like a commander who built his own army of engineers. TAI has doubled in 10 years and will double in the next decade.

On the other hand: Even in a project which tender has been completed, field tests have been completed, and which signatures have been signed, if the said cooperation includes a Pakistan-Turkey strategic rapprochement; This can easily bothers many.

I cannot criticize him for his style. But I wish that the parties to be more discreet on an issue that has not yet been fully formalized.
 

The Eagle

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I would like to request our members that they copy and paste their relevant posts here on the this topic alone, from undermentioned thread.
 

KaiserX

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Nothing is dead neither it has to be taken in other words. NGF falls under AZM which is an umbrella to all new developments in regard to need of Pakistan Defence. I don't know why people keeps missing the point. I have already explained in the OP.

AZM is all about NGF, UAVs etc so that one thread cannot cater information or the information gets lost in pages. If you mean 100% indigenous for in-house then you should go back to the first page of AZM then read into what ACM Sohail Aman said back in 2017 and then try to understand what's new about Pakistan Turkiye collaboration.

Yes that is correct AZM consists of the following-
1. NGF
2. Next generation MALE UAV
3. Development of aviation infrastructure- wind tunnels, computer designs, avionics manufactering
4. Development of a long range NG BVR missile

Cooperation with turkey pretty much hits all 4 points

1. TFX
2. ANKA
3. TOT from Turkey & China ongoing
4. SIPER

IMO, Kotil is a passionate and enthusiastic engineer. He is also one of the most humble corporate manager I have ever seen in my life. This man, spending time with young people and students day and night; also explain TAI's vision and work to people in all panels and programs he attends, at a level that "everyone can understand". He is like a commander who built his own army of engineers. TAI has doubled in 10 years and will double in the next decade.

On the other hand: Even in a project which tender has been completed, field tests have been completed, and which signatures have been signed, if the said cooperation includes a Pakistan-Turkey strategic rapprochement; This can easily bothers many.

I cannot criticize him for his style. But I wish that the parties to be more discreet on an issue that has not yet been fully formalized.

The news of such cooperation has been floating around since atleast 2018. Im 1000% sure such cooperation was already ongoing and may have been formalized in private years ago before being bought public today.
 

Tair-Lahoti

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News from dec 2021:
Pakistan’s Fifth-Gen Aircraft: Turkey Eyes Pact With Azerbaijan & Pakistan To Develop Next-Gen Stealth Fighters

“Our doors are open for cooperation in this direction. In particular, we are talking about cooperation with countries such as Azerbaijan and Pakistan, and we propose to unite efforts in this direction”, the head of the Turkish Defence Industry Committee Ismail Demir said in an interview with CNN Turk.

 

Bilal.

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Nothing is dead neither it has to be taken in other words. NGF falls under AZM which is an umbrella to all new developments in regard to need of Pakistan Defence. I don't know why people keeps missing the point. I have already explained in the OP.

AZM is all about NGF, UAVs etc so that one thread cannot cater information or the information gets lost in pages. If you mean 100% indigenous for in-house then you should go back to the first page of AZM then read into what ACM Sohail Aman said back in 2017 and then try to understand what's new about Pakistan Turkiye collaboration.
No I meant something else. Let me clarify.

- AZM is indeed an umbrella program I am specifically talking about the NGF

-Within NGF there is an in-house design (or designs)

-It is also understood that there was supposed to be collaboration even on making the in-house design develop into a system

-TFX collaboration is more of a fallback plan if the in-house design is found to be a not workable path

So locking the original “NGF” thread and continuing the discussion on the subject in the paradigm of TFX collaboration means that’s the way forward now and that the in-house design (with collaboration) is an abandoned route in PDF’s view?
 

Fighting Falcon 01

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PAF joining TFX program was an eventuality. Pakistan on it's own does not have the resources to design, develop and manufacture 5th generation aircraft even if some foreign country aids us it will take years and years however if we collaborate with turkey and focus on just a few aspects of aircraft production e.g composite materials and airframe production we will in the long term learn how to produce high end high quality airframes and composites .... similarly we can focus on producing and contributing in R&D of electronics/ AESA radar .... Turkey adopted a similar approach and developed it's aviation industry in a short amount of time... TFX also gives access of high end Western avionics and technology to PAF.
 

farooqbhai007

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Yes that is correct AZM consists of the following-
1. NGF
2. Next generation MALE UAV
3. Development of aviation infrastructure- wind tunnels, computer designs, avionics manufactering
4. Development of a long range NG BVR missile

Cooperation with turkey pretty much hits all 4 points

1. TFX
2. ANKA
3. TOT from Turkey & China ongoing
4. SIPER



The news of such cooperation has been floating around since atleast 2018. Im 1000% sure such cooperation was already ongoing and may have been formalized in private years ago before being bought public today.
infrastructure to ban gaya hai
 

Bilal.

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The key word is "Collaboration" and if you listen to the above program carefully you will understand what level of collaboration is on-going......
It was always going to be a collaboration to turn it into an actual flying fighter aircraft system. That collaboration would have been for subsystems and technical assistance to achieve what was being designed as below. I am talking about this:


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