Istanbul, Turkey – The pride in Ugur Zengin’s voice is palpable as he stands in front of a full-scale model of Turkey’s fifth-generation stealth fighter jet.
“It’s a very prestigious project and a technical breakout for Turkey that will introduce a lot of new technologies for the whole defence industry,” said Zengin, vice president of the National Combat Aircraft project.
“There will be a very high percentage of local parts in the aircraft.”
The TF aircraft being developed by Turkish Aerospace is arguably the jewel in the crown of an industry that is widely viewed as one of Turkey’s foremost sectors. It featured prominently at the International Defence Industry Fair in Istanbul this week.
The fighter, which will replace the Turkish Air Force’s ageing F-4 and F-16 jets, is due to be unveiled to the public in 2023, the centenary of the founding of the Turkish republic, and is expected to be operational two years later.
“All the missile systems will be from local…