Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Brazil's presidential election seen from the web

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ivory Coast launches the "Soap Bucket Challenge"

Read more

#TECH 24

Anonymous Vs ISIS

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: did he ever leave?

Read more

DEBATE

The World This Week

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Travel chaos: Air France pilots take industrial action

Read more

Europe

Turkey’s $50 billion jet programme raises questions

© Reuters

Text by HÜRRIYET DAILY NEWS

Latest update : 2013-07-30

Turkish ambitions to build a fighter aircraft and buy scores of new generation, multinational combat F-35 jets from a US supplier may go beyond Turkey’s financing capacity, says Burak Bekdil in the Hurriyet Daily News.

Turkish ambitions to build a “made-in-Turkey” fighter aircraft and buy scores of the new generation, multinational combat jet F-35 may go beyond Turkey’s financing capacity.

Defence industry officials estimate that building eight prototypes for what will become the Turkish national fighter would cost Ankara over $10 billion. “Any figure in the range of $11 billion to $13 billion would be realistic,” a senior official familiar with the programme said.

“We target $100 million per aircraft,” he said. “I think 200 is a realistic figure given our aging fleet of aircraft that will phase out in the decades ahead.”

That means Turkey will have to spend $31 billion to $33 billion for the Turkish fighter it hopes to design, develop and manufacture. But independent analysts say this may be an over-optimistic calculation.

100 more from the US

Turkey hopes that under its fighter jet programme, dubbed the TF-X, it can fly the Turkish fighter by 2023, the centennial of the republic. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to decide on whether to go ahead with the plan at a defence industry committee meeting later this year.

Meanwhile, Turkey, whose present fighter fleet is made up of US-made aircraft, also plans to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a next-generation, multinational programme also led by the United States.

Most of Turkey’s fleet of F-16 fighters, being modernised by Lockheed Martin, and the planned future F-35s are open to US technological influence. Only its older F-4 aircraft, modernised by Israel, and its oldest F-16s, being modernised by Turkey itself, are free from this influence. But these older aircraft are expected to be decommissioned around 2020.

Turkey’s defence procurement officials have said Ankara intends to buy around 100 F-35s. Defence analysts estimate the cost of the entire JSF program to Turkey to be around $16 billion, bringing Turkey’s fighter budget up to $50 billion together with the TF-X.

Click here to read more on the Hurriyet Daily News.

Date created : 2013-07-30

  • HURRIYET DAILY NEWS

    Turkey falls to 154th in World Press Freedom Index

    Read more

  • HURRIYET DAILY NEWS

    Fresh clashes erupt between Kurds and Syrian Islamists along Turkey border

    Read more

  • HURRIYET DAILY NEWS

    Turkey 'must reform tear gas laws'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)