Turkish future fighter comes together ahead of ‘victory day' roll-out

by Gareth Jennings

Screenshot from Turkish Aerospace video showing the TF-X/MMU future fighter prototype on the assembly line. (Turkish Aerospace )

Turkish Aerospace (TA) is progressing assembly of its Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft (MMU), ahead of its planned roll-out on 18 March 2023.

Footage of the production line featuring the TF-X/MMU prototype was released by the company on 23 November, showing the advanced ‘fifth-generation' combat aircraft in an advanced state of assembly.

The emergence of the footage came four months after TA President and CEO Temel Kotil briefed Janes and other defence media on the timeline for the planned roll-out and first flight, with both scheduled for Turkey's Gallipoli Victory Day of 18 March. With the roll-out planned for 2023, the first flight will follow in 2025.

While the TF-X/MMU has been, and continues to be, developed with UK assistance – 100 engineers from BAE Systems are assigned to the project, Kotil said, adding that it is very much a national project with complete domestic production being the goal. He added that TA has largely had to stand up a Turkish design, development, and manufacturing capability from scratch.


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Greece interested in surplus UK Hercules airlifters

by Gareth Jennings

Greece is expected to acquire at least one surplus Hercules airlifter when the type is retired from UK service in 2023. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Greece has shown interest in acquiring from the United Kingdom an undisclosed number of soon-to-be-retired Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules airlifters.

The Greek Republic Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced in late November that it had held a teleconference with Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group to talk about the upcoming sale of one ‘short' C-130J (C5 in UK service) and 13 ‘stretched' C-130J-30 (C4) airframes that are to be retired from Royal Air Force (RAF) service in 2023.

“The purpose of the teleconference was to hold a discussion-update on the upcoming sale of the UK's C-130J aircraft, for which the Marshall company has been appointed as an external partner,” the MND said.

As noted by the ministry, the conference was attended by the UK defence attaché, Captain Alexander Bush, as well as representatives from the UK Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the UK government, and Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group.

News of the event came approximately 11 months after the MoD told Janes


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Japan to acquire two additional KC-46 tankers

by Akhil Kadidal

Japan's acquisition of two additional KC-46A tankers will enhance its capability for ‘expeditionary' operations. (Boeing)

Japan has ordered two additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).

According to Boeing, the order of these two additional KC-46As brings the total contract number to six. The US Department of Defense (DoD) said on 29 November that the value of the order is USD398.24 million. The DoD added that the aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by 30 June 2025.

Boeing said in a statement that it completed delivery of the first KC-46A for the JASDF in October 2021. This was followed by the second aircraft in February 2022.

“This additional KC-46A acquisition reinforces the US-Japan security alliance to support security and stability throughout the Pacific region,” said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan.

The DoD said that the delivery order FA8609-18-F-0006 will be made under the FA8609-18-G-0002 basic ordering agreement contract vehicle. According to Boeing, the contract was awarded by the US Air Force through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process. The DoD added that the FMS funds are being obligated at the time of award.


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DRDO tests mounted gun system

by Kapil Kajal

India's DRDO showcased the 155 mm/52 calibre mounted gun system at Defence Expo 2022. The gun has a maximum firing range of 45 km. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

Indiaʼs Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted trials of the indigenously developed 155 mm/52 calibre mounted gun system (MGS).

According to the DRDO, the MGS is a truck-mounted artillery gun system, deployable in desert, mountainous, and high-altitude terrains.

The MGS equips a 155 mm/52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) on an eight-wheeled high-mobility vehicle (HMV) developed by Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML).

A DRDO official told Janes that the trials of the MGS have been going on for some time now.

“The mobility and performance trials of the MGS are completed. The standalone firing trials of the armoured cabin are also completed. The MGS is ready to undergo the strength of design trials,” the official said.

The official added that the DRDO is manufacturing the MGS as part of the Indian Army's requirement for gun-mounted wheeled platforms.


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Turkish Aerospace (TA) is progressing assembly of its Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National C...

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