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Turkey opens new engineering facilities for TF-X/MMU fighter

A screenshot of a Turkish Aerospace video showcasing the new Engineering Center of the National Combat Aircraft that, along with other dedicated facilities, was opened on 6 January. (Turkish Aerospace)

Turkey has opened new engineering facilities dedicated to the design, development, and manufacture of its future combat aircraft.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on 6 January that the Engineering Center of the National Combat Aircraft had been formally opened, with the goal of rolling out the first Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft (MMU) prototype in 2023. Other facilities opened on the same day comprised the Composite Manufacturing Facility and the Maintenance and Repair Center.

According to Turkish officials, the 65,000 m 2 Engineering Center of the National Combat Aircraft near Ankara will accommodate 2,300 people dedicated to the TF-X/MMU project. Also in the Kahramankazan suburb of Ankara, the Composite Manufacturing Facility is to build the necessary components and subsystems for the TF-X/MMU aircraft, while the Maintenance and Repair Center will conduct maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) activities for the project.

According to previously disclosed specifications, TF-X will be 21 m long with a wingspan of 14 m and a height of 6 m; will be powered by two engines each developing 27,000 lb of thrust; will have a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 and a service ceiling of 55,000 ft; and will be able to withstand g limits of between +9 g and –3.5 g . In terms of avionics and sensors, it is expected to feature an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, electronic warfare capabilities, advanced integrated communications navigation and identification features, an electro-optical targeting system and infrared search and track, and an advanced cockpit and human-machine interface.

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