“The government has now revealed its roadmap in the fighter program. Turkey clearly wants to make a 100 percent local aircraft. This rules out any deal with a foreign manufacturer based on a foreign model. In other words, ‘Turkifying’ a foreign aircraft is no longer an option.”
For a full report in DefenseNews click here.
Editor’s note: Turkey plans on procuring 100 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. An additional order for 4 aircraft was placed last week (6 now on order). An indigenous fighter may be in the cards for Turkey, but it isn’t a necessity nor will it happen for a number of years (decades?) if at all.
Barring any unforeseen political developments in Ankara that could cause Turkey’s membership in NATO to be brought into question, or an unexpected military conflict, thanks to the JSF Turkey’s airspace should be very capably defended well into the 2050s. An indigenous fighter produced by TAI is not a necessity for the Turkish Air Force. The question of wanting industrial development is another issue. But can Turkey afford the costs of 5th- or 6th- gen fighter development?