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TUSAŞ Informed the Press on Company`s 2023 Activities and Ongoing Projects

Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) hosted almost 30 members of Aviation & Defense media from İstanbul & Ankara in their premises in Ankara today. On behalf of Defence Turkey Magazine, our Senior Editor, İbrahim SÜNNETÇİ followed this exclusive press tour.

Date: January 11, 2023 Update: January 11, 2023

In the morning session, the latest status of ongoing projects and the company's updated profile were shared by executives of TUSAŞ. In the wake of the presentation, the media members visited the Aerostructure Division (metallic & composite assembly line), ANKA Final Assembly Line, ATAK, GÖKBEY & ATAK-2 final production line, HÜRJET static test field, Iron Bird and production line as well as a 270-degree simulator of TF-X and GTU prototype of Turkish Fighter in its nest.

Which topics are featured in this media tour?

National Combat Aircraft (MMU/TF-X):

·         GTU Prototype powered by F110 -GE-129E Turbofan Engines will make its first flight at the end of 2023.

·         A big ceremony is planned for the roll-out of the MMU Development & Test Aircraft in April (it will be declared on March 18, 2023)

ANKA Unmanned Aerial Vehicle:

·         The production of the 90th ANKA UAV continues in the serial production line.

·         The Serial Production line currently has more than 20 ANKAs at different stages of production.

·         System integration of the 70th and 80th ANKA UAVs continues.

T-70 General Utility Helicopter:

·         The 5th T70 General Utility Helicopter will be delivered to the Turkish Air Force (TurAF) with a ceremony on January 11, 2023. Türkiye ordered 109 T70 helicopters, and the first batch of 38 helicopters was approved for production. A total of 12 T-70 Helicopters from the first batch will be delivered this year, including 3 helicopters for the General Directorate of Forestry (OGM). The remaining ones will be produced in 2024.

·         Sikorsky company continues negotiations with the US authorities to obtain production approval for the 2nd batch. Congress approval is also required for the production of the 2nd batch of T70s. It has been stated that the local content in T70 Helicopters is around 90-95%.

T625 GÖKBEY Light Transport/Utility Helicopter:

·         The final assembly of 2 helicopters on the production line is currently in progress. The first one, which has already been completed, will be delivered soon.

·         A total of 3 GÖKBEY will be delivered to the Gendarmerie General Command within 2023.

T129 ATAK and T929 ATAK-2 Helicopters:

·         3 ATAK helicopters in the Phase-I version are being upgraded to the Phase-II version.

·         The 86th T129 ATAK helicopter is currently on the serial production line.

·         The fuselage production of the T929 ATAK-2 Prototype continues. The engines will be delivered to TUSAŞ within this month. No delay is expected for the first flight.

·         Until now, 74 T129 ATAK Helicopters have been produced; Türkiye’s total order is 83. The license agreement with Leonardo will expire in 2028. An additional 3 T129s will be produced for the Ministry of Interior. In addition, 2 T129s will be produced for the Philippines, where 4 T129s were delivered before. Also, 2 T129s will be produced for another export customer. The domestic 20mm gun and turret will be used for the first time in the helicopters of this unnamed customer (it was said to be Niger before).

·         The mid-fuselage of the ATAK-2 Helicopter is produced and delivered by Coşkuzöz Company. In this context, TUSAŞ has given work packages worth US$156 Million to sub-contractor companies. The first ATAK-2 Helicopter, which is still in production, will be seen in March with its landing gear and engines.

·         Engines of ATAK-2 are in the process of shipping to Turkey.

HÜRJET Advanced Jet Trainer:

·         A total of 4 prototypes will be produced.

·         The production of the first airworthy prototype, which will fly on March 18, continues.

TUSAŞ Infrastructure Investments:

·         In 5 years, TUSAŞ invested US$150 Million in testing and infrastructure, and also about 8000 new staff members were employed in this period. Thanks to these investments, the project timeline of HÜRJET and MMU/TF-X was accelerated.

·         TUSAŞ also has a computer infrastructure with a total of 70,000 cores (1 x 50 thousand and 2 x 10 thousand cores).

F-16V Block 70:

·         TUSAŞ is willing to take an active role in the production of 40 F-16V Block 70 Aircraft in Türkiye and the modernization of 79 Aircraft to Block 70 level (29 Block 50+ and 50 Block 40M).

·         In this context, TUSAŞ contacted Lockheed Martin to carry out the final assembly and modernization of the aircraft at TUSAŞ facilities, and a delegation from Lockheed Martin surveyed the TUSAŞ facilities.

Aerostructure Division

·         The total sales figures of the aerostructure division diminished in the pandemic period from US$550 million to US$ 350 million.

·         According to the updated information, total revenue from Aerostructure Division recovered fractionally, reaching US$ 450 million in 2022.

You can find details about this exclusive tour, including TUSAŞ President & CEO Temel KOTİL's presentation in our next issue…