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Qualification Tests of KTJ-3200 Engine Still Ongoing

Issue 98

According to the information we obtained, the final test of KTJ-3200 Turbojet Engine, which was developed by Kale ArGe to be used within the scope of Stand-off Precision Guided Munition (SOM) Project (Turkey's first national Air-Launched Cruise Missile - ALCM), was conducted successfully in the first half of January 2020.   

During the test conducted at Kale ArGe Development and Test Center which incorporated Turkey's first and only Altitude Test System, successful results were obtained with the KTJ-3200 Turbojet Engine, which is technologically 100% indigenous and national. Thus, another important milestone has been achieved within the scope of the Turbojet Engines Development Project, the contract of which was signed on February 22, 2012 and initiated on April 13, 2012 and the first engine start test was carried out on September 19, 2013. Qualification Tests will continue in upcoming days.

The KTJ-3200 is Turkey’s first national turbojet engine optimized for use especially on cruise missiles as well as unmanned platforms such as target drones and etc. The engine had previously demonstrated its performance under different altitude/speed conditions in 2019, with the utilization of the Altitude Test System.  The KTJ-3200, using the Altitude Test System, various tests comprising a High Altitude and Flight Speed Test, were performed in the first half of 2019 and the related videos were shared with visitors on the LCD screen at the company’s booth during the IDEF ‘19. In addition, the KTJ-3200 is qualified by subjecting to many different tests such as endurance, water ingestion, distortion and environmental tests.

Within 2020, the qualification of the KTJ-3200 Engine is planned to be completed and it is expected to take its place in the TAF inventory to be used in the SOM Cruise Missile Family, which was developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE and the serial production activities of which were carried out by Roketsan.

So far, a total of US$ 50 million has been allocated for the design and development of the KTJ-3200 Turbojet Engine, led by the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), and half of this amount has been funded by the SSB and the other half by Kale ArGe. In one of his previous statements, Kale Group Vice President Osman OKYAY said that the KTJ-3200 engine, which can reach 38,000 rpm and generate 900hp, exploded 5 times during the development process, but they have successfully completed all of the challenging tests. “It will be utilized primarily in SOM Missiles. Before the end of 2020, we plan to conduct firing tests on these missiles. Then the serial production can start for 100+”, said OKYAY.

Two KTJ-3200 Turbojet Engine prototypes, in operating state, were planned to be delivered to the SSB in June 2016 (previously announced as April 2016) for flight testing, but the delivery date was later updated to the end of 2017 and then to the first half of 2018. A Kale R&D official, whom we had the opportunity to meet at the SAHA Expo 2018 Fair held in Istanbul between September 13-15, 2018, stated that the delivery of the KTJ-3200 to the SSB could be realized as of late 2018 or early 2019.

The KTJ-3200 Turbojet Engine is planned to have a service life for 17 hours and has a 3.2kN thrust producing capacity and an alternator with a 6kVA capacity for the production of electrical energy to be required in the SOM ALCM. For Bearing lubrication, the KTJ-3200 Turbojet Engine uses the fuel lubrication technique just like the TR40 Turbojet Engine with a 2.5kN-3.4kN (560lb to 750lb) thrust capacity, which is still used in the SOM Missiles. This method significantly increases the lifespan of the engine. The KTJ-3200, which can operate with JP8 and JP10 synthetic liquid jet fuels, has a four-stage axial compressor like the French Safran Power Units TR40 Turbojet Engine. Monolithic (single-piece) machined rotors are used in the compressor section of the KTJ-3200 Turbojet Engine, which consists of three main sections, Compressor, Combustion Chamber and Turbine. Indigenously designed and produced, the KTJ-3200 Turbojet Engine is 77cm in length, 30cm in diameter, and has a total weight of 50kg. The KTJ-3200 engine can generate 900hp/3.2kN of thrust and is designed for a flight altitude of 5,000m and 0.95 Mach (1,095km/hr) flight speed. While the engine's running time on cruise missiles is given as 15-30 minutes, this duration can be further developed depending on the requirement and the platform to be used. The KTJ-3200 can also be used in ATMACA Block-I and Block-II Surface-to-Surface Guided Missiles currently powered by the TR40.

Although designed in the French style like the TR40, the KTJ-3200 does not have full interchangeability with the TR40; therefore, several modifications are required on the SOM for the KTJ-3200 integration. There are some key differences in the turbojet engine design between the US and French styles. Since the turbojet engines designed in accordance with the US style do not have a separate Engine Control Unit (ECU), the power pack is in one piece/unit, while the French style engines have a separate ECU, and the power pack consists of two separate units. Since the control algorithms in the US style turbojet engines are embedded on the missile task computer, the manufacturer itself develops the control algorithms for the missile. On the other hand, since turbojet engines designed according to the French style, for example the TR40s have a separate ECU, and several modifications are required for the missile's avionic equipment and design, as well as for the placement if a US style engine is used.