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Turkish aerospace plans like others may fall short

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Subject

Fifth-generation fighter aircraft manufacture.

Significance

Turkey and the United Kingdom have signed a 125-million-dollar deal to develop an advanced fighter aircraft, the TFX. The final agreement may imply only a design consultancy for BAE Systems, but it could also lead to a collaborative programme with state monopoly Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) drawing in other UK firms to aid development and fill technology gaps.

Impacts

  • TAI's deal with BAE Systems marks a further step in ambitious plans to expand Turkey’s aerospace industry.
  • A fighter aircraft with fifth-generation capabilities would be a step change in Turkey’s technological status and military ambitions.
  • Developing capacity in higher-value exports should help rein in Turkey's large external deficit.
  • The deal will also help maintaining advanced UK capabilities, as Western Europe has no plans to develop a comparable aircraft.
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