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SSB Issued an RFP for the TF-X Engine Development Project Phase-II

Speaking at the "Global Strategies Conference in Defense and Aerospace Industry ‘21" on December 4, 2021, President of Defense Industries, Prof. İsmail DEMİR disclosed that the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) has recently issued a new tender to select the Main Contractor Company for Phase-II, which constitutes the second phase in the development process of the new generation national turbofan engine that will power the National Combat Aircraft (TF-X) designed to meet the operational needs of the Turkish Air Force between 2030 and 2070. According to the information I have received, aside from TR Motor Power Systems (TR-M), which carries out Phase-I studies, Kale and TEI will also be able to bid for the Phase-II tender of the TF-X Engine Development Project.

Issue 111 - December 2021

Regarding the RFP, SSB DEMİR shared following information: “Our Request for Proposal (RFP) is different from the classic RFPs. It is actually a study to determine Turkey's domestic engine development capabilities. This RFP aims for potential players in Turkey's national jet engine journey to come together and create a roadmap where all the existing capabilities in Turkey regarding domestic engine production are on the table and create a strategy together. Since Turkey does not have a comprehensive history in this matter, we do not have many experienced engineers and designers. That is why we do not have the luxury of dividing the process into three or four parts, so we must combine our capabilities and work together in a coordinated manner. We have manufacturing capabilities, TEI has demonstrated significant manufacturing capabilities. Further material research and manufacturing techniques are being studied, but the RFP we mentioned is a new step in our national engine development process.”

According to the information I obtained from a source close to the project, the tender aims to find the best offer rather than a competition between companies. First of all, the company that proposes the best offer will be determined, and then the process will be shared between the three companies. When Phase-II studies are completed, a tender will be issued for Phase-III. The project will be implemented in phases. According to the information I have received, TR Motor will submit its bid to the tender together with an engine OEM company. I believe that this company is Ukrainian Ivchenko Progress, the current technical support provider for developing TF-X’s APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) and ATSS (Air Turbine Start System).