Bilal Khan (Quwa)
- Aug 22, 2016
There's a lot of discussion here that sort of thinks that Kizilelma and TFX are sister programs. The truth is that TA and Baykar are competitors and there is little to no sideways flow of tech - except of course the odd engineer switching jobs. MMU is an entirely independent program that is well funded and well staffed. Yes, Baykar is doing great things but they don't have nearly the resources to take up a project as complex as the MMU. The amount of people working on it should simply tell you of the complexity. And they are understaffed by their own estimates. Kizilelma is a good system but in terms of complexity and capability it is a Mehran in front of the Mercedes that is the MMU.
It's not a rumour in as much analysis. Those observing Baykar believe it's gradually moving towards a manned fighter program, but as @JamD said, Baykar and Turkish Aerospace/TA are ultimately competitors. TUSAS Engine Industries, Aselsan and Havelsan might be willing horizontal partners as they're primarily subsystem suppliers (and in TEI's case, the principal engine provider).I have read somewhere (don't know where and also not sure about it's authenticity) that Baykar is in very early stage of working on an optionally manned aircraft which will be their first step towards Sixth Gen. If someone else come across same thing then do share it's link here.
However, if Baykar's going to make the leap to manned jets, it'd need a big governmental partner to support it. This could be a neat opportunity for Pakistan, but hey, let's not get ahead of ourselves and think, amirite?
But seriously, if we project 15 or 20 years into the future, and build a long-term co-development and co-production partnership along those lines, it can happen. Sadly, Pakistani leaders aren't visionaries, or planners, or ops-doers. As JamD wrote a bunch of times, we can start with simpler projects, like a loyal wingman, and then a LIFT, and then a manned fighter.