Just as Turkey lost access to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Turkish Aerospace Industries unveiled a model of its ingenuously designed fifth-generation fighter jet, dubbed the TF-X, at the Paris Air Show.
On the tarmac at Paris-Le Bourget Airport, the dramatic unveiling showed the world a twin-engine, canted-vertical-tail fighter that looks a bit like an F-35, but with a narrower fuselage and wider wingspan.
Turkey’s primary aircraft design bureau put forward at the air show Ankara’s answer to the loss of the F-35, a plane Turkey had once hoped to buy 100 of from the USA.
Washington recently put that deal on hold over its continued objection to Ankara’s purchasing of S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
So this means, in terms of manufacturing, Turkish Aerospace has enough strength to build this fighter,” Kotil said. “Our machine is a mock-up, but in 2023 there will be a real machine, and first flight is in 2025, and [it will be in] service in 2028.
According to Defense News, the TF-X will have a top speed of Mach 2, a range of 600 miles, and will be capable of lifting 60,000 pounds upon takeoff.
Its engines will provide the jet with 20,000 pounds of thrust each, making it roughly comparable to the Joint Strike Fighter, although a tad faster.
Furthermore, Ankara has also expressed interest in other fifth-generation aircraft, including Russia’s Su-57 and China’s FC-31 fighters.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2019.