For many years, the engine problem has been a big topic of discussion in Turkey. For this reason it is among the most frequently asked and curious questions for us. Unlike our other news, we skip the introduction, development and conclusion part and share the answer directly. Yes, Turkey can produce aircraft engines.
But if you are wondering how it is done, if it is done under license or with original designs, in which aircraft or missiles it is used, and who is the leader in this field, we will also touch on these issues.
Turkey can build planes, helicopters, missiles and UAV engines!
Turkey has long been trying to become a self-sufficient country in the defense sector, in other words, to meet its critical needs. In fact, this lens dates back to its founding 99 years ago, even much earlier. But the story is something else.
Currently, Turkey can produce both piston and jet engines with the great contribution of the private sector and technology transfer. Here, TEI (TUSAŞ Engine Industry), which is under the TUSAŞ roof, comes to the fore. However, there are companies that have important and critical investments in this field, such as Kale Group.
TEI is currently the shining star of the industry. Mainly under the license agreement of General Electric’s F110 engine, which has been used in F-16s for many years. It carries out assembly, testing and repair activities from a to z. It can provide services not only in Turkey, but also in countries like Oman and Saudi Arabia. In this context, we know he has touched more than 325 F110s, so he has great knowledge of this project.
Of course, there are more than one project like this. For example, General Electric Aviation’s T700-GE-701D engine, which powers many helicopters from the AH-64 Apache helicopters to the MH-60M Black Hawk, can be produced as a T700-TEI-701D with its own configurations. In other words, it can take a step beyond assembly and do a lot of things from producing spare parts.
But as we have mentioned, these are works performed under license. Besides these, there are 10 different original and licensing rights, namely national and national engine designs. The best known among them is ANKA and Bayraktar TB2 SİHA (40+ units, the number is increasing) TEI-PD170 (Aircraft turbodiesel engine).
To briefly mention the others, TEI-TS1400 (turboshaft engine for use in Gökbey helicopter), TEI-PD180ST, TEI-PD222ST (We will see in Anka-S, Akıncı, TB3 and Aksungur), TEI-TJ300 (medium range anti-ship missile engine), TEI-TJ90, TEI-PG50, TEI-PG50S, TEI-TP38 And TEI-TJ35 There are 10 projects in total. You can click here to review the relevant engines. Furthermore, we add the information that the KTJ-3200 turbojet engine developed by Kale will also be used in the Atmaca and SOM missiles.
Some of these designs have been implemented and are now being used effectively in aircraft in the field. Some of them have come to the testing stage and are waiting for the assembly process. But apart from these, there are those who have not yet found resources or whose projects have been laid.
For example, TEI General Manager Prof. Dr. Mahmut Faruk Akşit said he is at a level to develop an engine for National Combat Aircraft capable of producing the same power as the Pratt & Whitney F119 engine (variant F119-PW- 100) used in the F-22, i.e. with a thrust of 35,000 pounds.
Of course, these types of projects can be done in at least 5-15 years rather than a year or two. Therefore, as expected, if the MMU leaves the hangar in 2023-24 and makes its first flight in 2025 and enters service between 2028-30, foreign engines will have to be used here.
Because no source has been provided for the engine specified by Akşit and the team has not yet been established. In any case, this resource we are talking about is not something that can be carried over overnight. So much so that even American companies, which have been doing it for 50 years, sacrifice at least 2-3 billion dollars when trying to develop a new engine.
If we look at the Turkish case, we can clearly see that public and private companies can and do make engines. However, as mentioned, making an engine on a special order for a possible aircraft takes 5-10 years and billions of dollars of resources.
For this, we can say that the reason why there is no domestic engine in every project currently under development, cannot be satisfied both in terms of time (urgent needs of TSK) and cost (economic situation of Turkey) . For this reason, it is much faster and cheaper to purchase the motor from the outside by producing non-motor parts with its ready and established industry. However, as everyone knows, there is always a possible embargo following these elections.
What do you think about this topic? Don’t forget to share your views with us in the comments!