Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) issued a request for information (RfI) on 13 March to formally start preliminary design work on its ambitious Turkish Fighter Aircraft (TF-X) programme.
The RfI calls for "the indigenous design, development, and production activities of the first Turkish Fighter Aircraft to meet Turkish Armed Forces' next generation fighter requirements".
The TF-X aircraft is intended to replace Turkey's existing Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter aircraft in the 2030s. The RfI call is open to "companies/organisations which are capable to design, develop, and/or manufacture 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft". The preliminary design work of TF-X fighter is estimated to cost about USD500 million, with a first prototype planned for 2023.
There are understood to be about nine companies interested in the programme, including Lockheed Martin, Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, Dassault, BAE Systems, and Saab. Those interested are required to respond to the RfI by 20 March.