Turkish aerospace company TAI unveiled a full-sized mock-up of the TF-X at the Paris Air show Tuesday. According to the Turkish ministry of defense, the first prototype is set to fly in 2023. The prime contractors involved so far are TAI and BAE systems. The aircraft is designed to serve alongside the F-35A if it is delivered to the Turkish Air Force. This comes as the delivery of F-35s is halted due to Turkeys purchasing of the S300 surface to air missile system from Russia.
The TAIs design features include twin slanted vertical stabilizers, a clipped delta wing, and twin engines. The aircraft features a low observable design with repeating edges and internal bay doors. The TF-X is believed to be a dedicated air superiority fighter with air to ground capabilities. If this is true it would hint at a Turkish Air Force requirement for an air superiority fighter. Currently, no radar or engine has been pitched to the program but it is possible European manufacturers such as Safran and Rolls Royce could be chosen. The design will likely incorporate a combination of off the shelf technologies.
The TF-X will likely be offered on the export market if so potential customers include Pakistan and Qatar due to their military relationship with Turkey. In Turkish Air Force service, the TF-X will serve alongside the F-16 and possibly the F-35A.
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