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TEI-TS1400 Prototype Delivered to Turkish Aerospace for Ground Test Campaign

Under the Turboshaft Engine Development Project (TEDP), TEI (TUSAS Engine Industries Inc.) delivered the TS1400shp helicopter engine prototype to Turkish Aerospace with a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN via teleconference.

Issue 104

In addition to President ERDOĞAN, Minister of National Defense Hulusi AKAR, Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa VARANK, Chief of General Staff Yaşar GÜLER, President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR, Chairman & CEO of TEI Mahmut Faruk AKŞİT and Eskişehir Governor Erol AYYILDIZ attended to the delivery ceremony for Turkey's first indigenous helicopter engine prototype and opening of the new design center in TEI's Eskişehir facilities. Within the scope of Turboshaft Engine Development Project (TEDP) carried out by TEI under the leadership of the Subsystems Department of the Presidency of Defense Industries, it is aimed to establish gas turbine engine design, development, and test infrastructures in Turkey and to develop a domestic and national 1400shp engine that can be integrated into the current and future indigenous helicopters. Expected to power the unique GÖKBEY Multirole Utility helicopter and T129 ATAK helicopters, the first ignition of the TS1400 engine was performed successfully in October 2020.

Taking the floor at the ceremony, Chairman & CEO of TEI, Mahmut F. AKŞİT, stated that despite all the difficulties in the project, which was started in 2017, TEI successfully developed the TS1400 engine and delivered the first prototype to Turkish Aerospace "This is a completely indigenous engine designed and developed by Turkish engineers from start to finish. We produced the first actual jet engine of our country, marking a turning point in Turkey's history." Noting that with TEI-TS1400, Turkey became one of the leading countries in the field of aviation technology, AKŞİT said, "I hope we will lift off GÖKBEY with this unique engine, we are still planning the serial production phase. Following the difficult maturation and the challenging certification process, GÖKBEY is expected to fly with our unique engine from 2024."

Stating that they have developed 11 high-tech domestic and unique engines in the last 7 years, AKŞIT indicated that the TS1400 engine is the last link of this chain. "We have built several engines in advance and they received quite a bit of media coverage. Public Opinion asked, 'they made the prototype, but will it go into serial production?' I can proudly say that 5 of these engines are now in serial production and their deliveries have already been started. Some of our engines have successfully flown for over 30 thousand hours. Serial production negotiations for 2 of the engines are still ongoing. One of them is GÖKBEY's engine. At the same time, serial production negotiations for the TJ300 engine are currently underway. Of these 10 engines, 4 use jet, 2 use gasoline, and 4 use diesel fuel. Turkey has now overcome the engine technology problem."

Underlining that they have developed a much more powerful engine than their counterparts, AKSIT pointed out that the TS1400 engine produced more power than the LHTEC CTS800 engine utilize in GÖKBEY'S prototype and powered the T129 ATAK attack helicopters. "Compared to its equivalents, TEI-TS1400 generates 67-120 more shp at take-off, continuous flight, emergency take-off, or flight with a single engine." 

Stating that TS1400, the first unique helicopter engine prototype delivered by TEI, was developed within the scope of the Turboshaft Engine Development Project carried out under the leadership of the Presidency of Defense Industries, Prof. İsmail DEMİR stated that the unique engine would start test campaign with GÖKBEY soon. "Under the project, tests will be started after integrating the engine on the helicopter, and when completed, a locally developed engine that is certified in line with the airworthiness requirements will be brought to our country. In addition to the engine development infrastructure, we will be provided with a test infrastructure where all aviation engines in similar power ranges can be tested. Indigenous engine design software will be developed, and a material database will be created. We will also provide unique engine solutions for other national air platforms with our gas turbine engine development projects that we carry out with a wide technical infrastructure. Moreover, being able to produce its own engine will also enable Turkey to achieve greater success in export." 

Emphasizing that foreign dependency in defense projects will significantly reduce thanks to other domestic engine projects conducted under the leadership of SSB, President of SSB Prof. DEMIR said, "Various piston and turbine engine development projects, which will be designed and produced with maximum use of domestic capabilities for various platforms such as new generation light armored vehicles, ALTAY MBT, UAVs, and missiles, continue under the leadership of SSB. We are pleased to see that our domestic industry is working devotedly in the development of these engines, which will significantly reduce foreign dependency and play a key role in the formation of a self-sufficient defense industry."

Speaking at the ceremony via teleconference, President Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN said, "Today, we are experiencing an important day in the Turboshaft engine development project initiated by SSB and carried out by TEI. We are opening the design center with the delivery of our turboshaft engine designed and manufactured by Turkish engineers for our GÖKBEY helicopter for testing. With these important projects, we are entering a new era in the Defense Industry. TEI will become a role model in its field with these important projects and thanks to its turboshaft engine development capacity. In our design center, our engineers will work on new projects in a more coordinated manner. The number of countries with engine technologies in the world can be counted on the fingers of one hand. We must continue to work together to create a vast ecosystem with the aim of developing an engine from its software to its materials."

Speaking about the engine studies carried out by TEI as well as other ongoing engine projects, President ERDOĞAN stated that after the success of other engine projects, which are still being developed, they would be added to the inventory in the upcoming period. "TEI is now turning into a brand that not only produces engines but also sells them to the world. With the Turboshaft project, we are also testing a very important test infrastructure for engines of similar class in our country. This infrastructure can also be used for testing higher power engines, such as the ones that would be used in the TF-X. We are also developing new generation light armored vehicles, ALTAY MBTs, UAVs, and missiles, as well as engines of various classes for various platforms. We will soon start accepting all these engines into the inventory of our Armed Forces. With the efforts of Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) and the private sector, we are getting closer to our goal of making Turkey the leading country in all kinds of engine design and production.".

Following President ERDOĞAN's speech at the ceremony, the first unique helicopter engine prototype, TEI-TS1400shp, was successfully ignited for the demonstration by TEI’s test staff. In the wake of the demonstration, the design center was inaugurated.

The TEI-TS1400, which has been developing Turboshaft Engine Development Project (under the 8-year schedule) by a team of approximately 700 TEI employees, located in TEI's Eskisehir, Ankara, and Istanbul Engineering Offices, was able to produce 1660 horsepower during the tests performed so far. Many firsts were achieved in the field of manufacturing and material technology in the production of the unique engine TEI-TS1400, including Turkey's first single crystal turbine blade was produced for TEI-TS1400 in liaison with TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center. During this production, innovative thermal barrier coating methods were also used. 

For the first time in Turkey, Aerospace forging technologies were developed for the production of nickel and titanium alloys to be utilized in TEI-TS1400, which has an export value of 6 thousand dollars per kilogram. Several arts were produced with additive manufacturing, which is regarded as the manufacturing technology of the future. Having developed 11 high-tech engines in 7 years by investing US$312 million in public and private sectors in the last 5 years, TEI aims to accelerate the development of new engines by providing a more efficient working environment with the new center, which will bring together its Design and R&D units