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TUSAŞ Opens Doors to Media

TUSAŞ Opens Doors to Media

Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) hosted Turkish aviation and defence media. CEO of TUSAŞ, Professor Temel Kotil, delivered an opening speech at the meeting and answered journalists’ questions.

On January 11, 2023, the Turkish Air Force (TurAF) was about to receive its fifth T70 General Utility Helicopter. Turkiye ordered 109 T70 helicopters, with the first batch of 38 approved for production. The first batch of 12 T-70 Helicopters will be delivered this year, with three going to the General Directorate of Forestry (OGM). The remainder will be manufactured in 2024. Sikorsky continues negotiating with US authorities to obtain production approval for the second batch. Congress must also approve the second batch of T70s. The local content in T70 Helicopters has been estimated to be 90-95 per cent.

TUSAŞ Opens Doors to Media

In five years, TUSAŞ invested US$150 Million in testing and infrastructure, and also about 8000 new staff members were employed in this period. Thanks to these investments, the project timeline of HÜRJET and TF was accelerated.

TUSAŞ Opens Doors to Media

TUSAŞ is willing to take an active role in producing 40 F-16V Block 70 Aircraft in Türkiye and modernising 79 Aircraft to the Block 70 level. In this context, TUSAŞ contacted Lockheed Martin to carry out the final assembly and modernisation of the aircraft at TUSAŞ facilities, and a delegation from Lockheed Martin surveyed the TUSAŞ facilities.

The total sales figures of the aerostructure division diminished in the pandemic period from US$550 million to US$ 350 million. According to the updated information, total revenue from Aerostructure Division recovered fractionally, reaching US$ 450 million in 2022.

Kotil announced that the first demand for the TF programme came from abroad. Kotil said, “There are demands. This country also has engineers working with us. But a government-to-government deal needs to be made. Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia maintain close relations with TUSAŞ. Although Indonesia’s participation in the Republic of Korea’s KF-21 project is in question, there are sometimes disagreements between Korea and Indonesia.

There is no clear-cut answer about the Hürkuş waiting for delivery to the Turkish Air Force. Kotil had said in December 2021 to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that six aircraft would be delivered to the end user. It is learnt that some aircraft are kept in the hangar, and some are exported.

Aerostructure Division (metallic and composite assembly line), ANKA Final Assembly Line, ATAK, GÖKBEY and ATAK-2 final production line, HÜRJET static test field and Iron Bird and production line, as well as a 270-degree simulator of TF-X and GTU prototype of Turkish Fighter, were all open to the media.

The final assembly of two GÖKBEY helicopters is underway on the production line. The first, which is already finished, will be delivered soon. Three GÖKBEY will be provided to the Gendarmerie General Command by 2023.

The first flight of the TF-X GTU Prototype, powered by F110-GE-129E Turbofan Engines, will take place at the end of 2023. The TF Development and Test Aircraft will be unveiled in a grand ceremony in April. The aircraft that will be airborne will be the basic version.

The serial production line continues to produce the 90th ANKA UAV. More than 20 ANKAs are currently in various stages of production on the Serial Production line. The 70th and 80th ANKA UAVs are still being integrated into the system.

Until now, 74 T129 ATAK Helicopters have been produced; Türkiye’s total order is 83. The licence agreement with Leonardo will expire in 2028. An additional three T129s will be produced for the Ministry of Interior. In addition, two T129s will be produced for the Philippines, where four T129s were delivered before. Also, two T129s will be produced for another export customer.

Three ATAK helicopters in the Early Delivery Helicopters (EDH) are being upgraded to the Phase-II version. There will be no phase-III version.

TRMekatronik’s 20 mm gun is seen integrated into an export T129 helicopter.

The fuselage production of the T929 ATAK-2 Prototype continues. The mid-fuselage of the ATAK-2 Helicopter is produced and delivered by Coşkunöz Company. In this context, TUSAŞ has given work packages worth US$156 Million to sub-contractor companies. The first ATAK-2 Helicopter, which is still in production, will be seen in March with its landing gear and engines. Engines of ATAK-2 are in the process of shipping to Turkiye. A total of four prototypes will be produced.

TUSAŞ wanted to use an indigenous ejection seat at TF, but the cost was so high that the formula was abandoned. TF will have Martin Baker"s ejection seat onboard.TF will not have a twin-seat version because there is no need for two pilots on board. The autonomy systems on board assist the pilot, and the aircraft will not fly into the combat zone. It will fire its missiles from a long distance and return to the air base. The pilot will not be dealing with both flying in the combat zone and firing missiles simultaneously.