Rolls-Royce Backs Out of Turkish TF‑X Fighter Program

 In Defense, Air, Industrial, Turkey

Rolls-Royce Dials Back on Project to Build New Turkish Fighter Jet: Erdogan-backed scheme hit issues over intel­lec­tu­al property(excerpt)

The British gov­ern­ment has sup­port­ed its industry’s involve­ment in Turkey’s TF‑X future fight­er pro­gram, but that country’s insis­tence in obtain­ing own­er­ship of all the IP rights to the new aircraft’s com­po­nents are likely to dis­cour­age for­eign part­ners. (TAI image)

Rolls-Royce has scaled back efforts to join a Turkish pro­gramme to build a new fight­er jet, strik­ing a blow to UK ambi­tions to put the British aero­space indus­try at the heart of the project.

The aero-engine group has been work­ing with the Turkish indus­tri­al group Kale to bid for the con­tract to devel­op the engine on the TF‑X jet, an ambi­tious scheme to create Turkey’s first indige­nous combat air­craft. Senior UK offi­cials, includ­ing the prime min­is­ter, Theresa May, had lob­bied hard for Rolls-Royce to win the deal.

Talks ran into prob­lems last year due to a dis­pute over the shar­ing of intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty and the involve­ment of a Qatari-Turkish com­pa­ny.

After fail­ing to find a com­pro­mise, Rolls-Royce has all but aban­doned its efforts to win the bid for the fifth-gen­er­a­tion fight­er air­craft, accord­ing to sev­er­al people famil­iar with the dis­cus­sions. To restart talks, Turkey would have to come back “at a very senior level”, one person said.

Warren East, chief exec­u­tive of Rolls-Royce, said the com­pa­ny had “sub­stan­tial­ly ramped down” on the TF‑X project and “been re-assign­ing people” to other schemes. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Financial Times web­site.

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Source: Defense Aerospace

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