Turkish TFX National Combat Aircraft

Deino

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Some close ups of the Mock-up TFX - inlet
View attachment 665526View attachment 665527
Thats atleast 50% larger than an F22 engine inlet. Atleast thats what the size of the person(likely a kid) examining it is making me believe.


I think discussions on size have always a certain component of bias and personnel standard, but even if this kid is indeed only a kid, I won't say it is "at least 50% larger than an F22 engine inlet"! ;)

1633262121967.png
 

Combat-Master

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"According to unconfirmed information that I obtained from our sources Turkey (TR Motor Power Systems) will soon sign a contract with Ivchenko Progress from Ukraine for cooperation in the development of a 35.000lb class turbofan engine (dubbed TF-141) to power TF-X aircraft."

"The MMU/TF-X Block-0, Block-I (2029) and Block-II (2032) aircraft will be powered by General Electric’s F110 Turbofan Family (probably F110- GE-129E version due to twin-engine configuration), and starting from Block-III (2035) the aircraft will gain true 5th Generation capabilities with indigenous 35.000lb class turbofan engines featuring stealthy exhaust nozzles for low-observability."

- www.defenceturkey.com

20711DF9-4BF8-4F76-8B21-2338AF4C6D61.jpeg
 
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TomcatViP

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The targeted performances, as stated in the article above, seem pretty reasonable and right in the footsteps of the Korean project that so far has proved its worth.
 

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"The TurAF will gain Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with Block-I MMU/TF-X in 2031. According to TUSAŞ, deliveries of the first batch of 20 MMU/TF-X will be completed in 2034."

"On February 14, 2021 TR Motor Power Systems secured a contract from TUSAŞ for the design, development and manufacture (with technical support from Ivchenko Progress from Ukraine) of the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and Air Turbine Start System (ATSS) to be installed on MMU/TF-X aircraft."

- www.defenceturkey.com
 

Anduriel

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Hm, but Ivchenko-Prohress don't have much experienced on AFB turbofans, more so in such thrust class (their sole AFB engine AI322F) is in 8-9k lb thrust class. That's too ambitious and risky, IMO.
 

totoro

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That really makes little sense, going with Ukraine to develop a brand new engine, especially in that class. That'll take easily a decade, and it will still lag behind what other sources might've yielded in performance. On paper, Ukraine can still make 75 kn engines or 200 kn engines. But using either of those as basis for a brand new 150 kn engine is not easy. It'd basically have to be a completely new engine. And just what sort of knowledge pool does Ukraine have left? Both of the engines mentioned are basically 1980s technology.

For the life of me, I don't see why Turkey wants to scale up its plane to 150 kn engines in the first place. It operates f-16s now. Why does it feel it needs to jump from F-16 to F-22 sized planes all of a sudden?

It'd be much easier and cheaper and faster if they stuck to a 100 kn class engine and scaled their jet accordingly. They'd have much more engines to choose from, both from the West and the East.

And if they DO want a 150 kn class engine - why not go with Russia, instead of Ukraine? Russia has at least proven it can develop new engine variants. Unlike Ukraine where the engineering/development prowess pool may have atrophied considerately in the last 30 years.

Is all this just maskirovka? Or is TFX really being handled in such an asinine way that certain subsystems are being negotiated on the basis of what's best for some individual sealing the deal rather on the basis of what's best for the Turkish armed forces and Turkish aerospace industry? I guess the latter MIGHT benefit more from Ukraine deal if Ukraine agrees to hand over pretty much ALL its knowledge for a decent price - and providing Russia/China/Other countries said they don't want to share any knowledge.
But even if that IS the case, it'd still mean a decade or more until TFX engine is ready, and even then it'd likely be an inferior engine, which is not really good for the armed forces.
 

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That really makes little sense, going with Ukraine to develop a brand new engine, especially in that class. That'll take easily a decade, and it will still lag behind what other sources might've yielded in performance. On paper, Ukraine can still make 75 kn engines or 200 kn engines. But using either of those as basis for a brand new 150 kn engine is not easy. It'd basically have to be a completely new engine. And just what sort of knowledge pool does Ukraine have left? Both of the engines mentioned are basically 1980s technology.

For the life of me, I don't see why Turkey wants to scale up its plane to 150 kn engines in the first place. It operates f-16s now. Why does it feel it needs to jump from F-16 to F-22 sized planes all of a sudden?

It'd be much easier and cheaper and faster if they stuck to a 100 kn class engine and scaled their jet accordingly. They'd have much more engines to choose from, both from the West and the East.

And if they DO want a 150 kn class engine - why not go with Russia, instead of Ukraine? Russia has at least proven it can develop new engine variants. Unlike Ukraine where the engineering/development prowess pool may have atrophied considerately in the last 30 years.

Is all this just maskirovka? Or is TFX really being handled in such an asinine way that certain subsystems are being negotiated on the basis of what's best for some individual sealing the deal rather on the basis of what's best for the Turkish armed forces and Turkish aerospace industry? I guess the latter MIGHT benefit more from Ukraine deal if Ukraine agrees to hand over pretty much ALL its knowledge for a decent price - and providing Russia/China/Other countries said they don't want to share any knowledge.
But even if that IS the case, it'd still mean a decade or more until TFX engine is ready, and even then it'd likely be an inferior engine, which is not really good for the armed forces.

They are really pushing it, they want the engine TF-141 first flight-ready by 2029/30

Conceptual CAD design TF-141 turbofan jet engine with a max thrust of 35,000lbs - https://www.trmotor.com.tr/anasayfa
0d2b4ba2f8dbf9e.jpg 63ac17b0c8b7194.jpg 6f6079cad15cd76.jpg ee7d077f3b476a3.jpg
 

Deino

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That really makes little sense, going with Ukraine to develop a brand new engine, especially in that class. That'll take easily a decade, and it will still lag behind what other sources might've yielded in performance. On paper, Ukraine can still make 75 kn engines or 200 kn engines. But using either of those as basis for a brand new 150 kn engine is not easy. It'd basically have to be a completely new engine. And just what sort of knowledge pool does Ukraine have left? Both of the engines mentioned are basically 1980s technology.

For the life of me, I don't see why Turkey wants to scale up its plane to 150 kn engines in the first place. It operates f-16s now. Why does it feel it needs to jump from F-16 to F-22 sized planes all of a sudden?

It'd be much easier and cheaper and faster if they stuck to a 100 kn class engine and scaled their jet accordingly. They'd have much more engines to choose from, both from the West and the East.

And if they DO want a 150 kn class engine - why not go with Russia, instead of Ukraine? Russia has at least proven it can develop new engine variants. Unlike Ukraine where the engineering/development prowess pool may have atrophied considerately in the last 30 years.

Is all this just maskirovka? Or is TFX really being handled in such an asinine way that certain subsystems are being negotiated on the basis of what's best for some individual sealing the deal rather on the basis of what's best for the Turkish armed forces and Turkish aerospace industry? I guess the latter MIGHT benefit more from Ukraine deal if Ukraine agrees to hand over pretty much ALL its knowledge for a decent price - and providing Russia/China/Other countries said they don't want to share any knowledge.
But even if that IS the case, it'd still mean a decade or more until TFX engine is ready, and even then it'd likely be an inferior engine, which is not really good for the armed forces.


But still I'm MOST sceptical and the Ukrainian way with a company that has de facto no experience in modern afterburners high-thrust turbofan engines, which was almost up for sale to China and now has an uncertain future is IMO a partner that only brings additional uncertainty. Therefore I rate the reason for this way can only be than none of the other major players in aeroengine business was willing to provide their technology, not even at any cost. You simply don‘t sell your crown-jewellery for a few $$.

I know some won't like this, but but this decision is only yet another reason to see it my way.

Anyway, all the best and time will tell.
 
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totoro

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first flight ready by 2030? Does that refer to first flight test of the prototype? If so, that sounds the actual serial production engines may not reach TFX until latter half of 2030s.

And if THAT is true, does it then mean that A) Turkey plans to induct TFX only after 2035
or B) Turkey plans to fly it sooner, with interim engines bought from some other country and then eventually switch to domestic engines later on?
 

Deino

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That really makes little sense, going with Ukraine to develop a brand new engine, especially in that class. That'll take easily a decade, and it will still lag behind what other sources might've yielded in performance. On paper, Ukraine can still make 75 kn engines or 200 kn engines. But using either of those as basis for a brand new 150 kn engine is not easy. It'd basically have to be a completely new engine. And just what sort of knowledge pool does Ukraine have left? Both of the engines mentioned are basically 1980s technology.

For the life of me, I don't see why Turkey wants to scale up its plane to 150 kn engines in the first place. It operates f-16s now. Why does it feel it needs to jump from F-16 to F-22 sized planes all of a sudden?

It'd be much easier and cheaper and faster if they stuck to a 100 kn class engine and scaled their jet accordingly. They'd have much more engines to choose from, both from the West and the East.

And if they DO want a 150 kn class engine - why not go with Russia, instead of Ukraine? Russia has at least proven it can develop new engine variants. Unlike Ukraine where the engineering/development prowess pool may have atrophied considerately in the last 30 years.

Is all this just maskirovka? Or is TFX really being handled in such an asinine way that certain subsystems are being negotiated on the basis of what's best for some individual sealing the deal rather on the basis of what's best for the Turkish armed forces and Turkish aerospace industry? I guess the latter MIGHT benefit more from Ukraine deal if Ukraine agrees to hand over pretty much ALL its knowledge for a decent price - and providing Russia/China/Other countries said they don't want to share any knowledge.
But even if that IS the case, it'd still mean a decade or more until TFX engine is ready, and even then it'd likely be an inferior engine, which is not really good for the armed forces.

They are really pushing it, they want the engine TF-141 first flight-ready by 2029/30

Conceptual CAD design TF-141 turbofan jet engine with a max thrust of 35,000lbs - https://www.trmotor.com.tr/anasayfa
View attachment 666400View attachment 666402View attachment 666401View attachment 666403


Pardon, but this is nothing but a fancy „what if“ CAD-look-alike and surely not a technically detailed proposal.
 

Deino

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first flight ready by 2030? Does that refer to first flight test of the prototype? If so, that sounds the actual serial production engines may not reach TFX until latter half of 2030s.

And if THAT is true, does it then mean that A) Turkey plans to induct TFX only after 2035
or B) Turkey plans to fly it sooner, with interim engines bought from some other country and then eventually switch to domestic engines later on?

I think this was already clear since years … and again noted here:

"The TurAF will gain Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with Block-I MMU/TF-X in 2031. According to TUSAŞ, deliveries of the first batch of 20 MMU/TF-X will be completed in 2034."

"On February 14, 2021 TR Motor Power Systems secured a contract from TUSAŞ for the design, development and manufacture (with technical support from Ivchenko Progress from Ukraine) of the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and Air Turbine Start System (ATSS) to be installed on MMU/TF-X aircraft."

- www.defenceturkey.com
 

DWG

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That really makes little sense, going with Ukraine to develop a brand new engine, especially in that class. That'll take easily a decade, and it will still lag behind what other sources might've yielded in performance. On paper, Ukraine can still make 75 kn engines or 200 kn engines. But using either of those as basis for a brand new 150 kn engine is not easy. It'd basically have to be a completely new engine. And just what sort of knowledge pool does Ukraine have left? Both of the engines mentioned are basically 1980s technology.

For the life of me, I don't see why Turkey wants to scale up its plane to 150 kn engines in the first place. It operates f-16s now. Why does it feel it needs to jump from F-16 to F-22 sized planes all of a sudden?

It'd be much easier and cheaper and faster if they stuck to a 100 kn class engine and scaled their jet accordingly. They'd have much more engines to choose from, both from the West and the East.

And if they DO want a 150 kn class engine - why not go with Russia, instead of Ukraine? Russia has at least proven it can develop new engine variants. Unlike Ukraine where the engineering/development prowess pool may have atrophied considerately in the last 30 years.

Is all this just maskirovka? Or is TFX really being handled in such an asinine way that certain subsystems are being negotiated on the basis of what's best for some individual.

How much recent experience do Ivchenko-Progress have with ab-initio engine design, never mind high-end afterburning turbojets?

The core difference between selecting Ukraine as a partner and Russia is possibly the likelihood of Turkey finding itself in conflict with one or the other. Russian and Turkish spheres of influence overlap, and not in a good way, as we've seen in Syria. Having your prime fighter-force beholden for parts to a competing regional power could be awkward. The S-400 deal argues against this, but the logic making that a good deal for Turkey is particularly opaque.

WRT going beyond F-16s, Turkey was a major F-4 operator, so heavy fighters aren't an entirely new development. But I can't help feeling the primary operational requirement for TFX is President Erdogan's ego.
 

Ainen

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How much recent experience do Ivchenko-Progress have with ab-initio engine design, never mind high-end afterburning turbojets?
Well, AI-222 family (used on Chinese L-15) is the only relatively recent entry.
My guess is it is the only proposal on the market which actually involves core engine tech transfer. They probably would rather not, but they lost their core market and yet want to live.
This is why Ukrainian engine companies are such hot potatoes (Chinese deal, then this).
 
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Bhurki

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If i understand this page correctly, the only possibility to power TFX as of now is F100/1? (pertaining to design requirements)
 

totoro

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Yeah, that AI-9500F is basically a ghost. Almost zero mentions on it on Google. Likely just a paper project, not successfully marketed around, and a very recent one at that.
 

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Yeah, that AI-9500F is basically a ghost. Almost zero mentions on it on Google. Likely just a paper project, not successfully marketed around, and a very recent one at that.

AI-9500F - 20,000lb class engine
View attachment 666431
It's vaporware. And SFC looks horrible. Ole Al-31 has SFC 1.92 at AFB but 0.75 at MIL.

From my understanding, the Ukrainians sought foreign investment in the development of it and offered to co-develop with Chinese for their FC-31 - the Chinese were set on buying out Ivchenko Progress recently till the Ukrainian government stepped in.
 

Deino

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Yeah, that AI-9500F is basically a ghost. Almost zero mentions on it on Google. Likely just a paper project, not successfully marketed around, and a very recent one at that.

AI-9500F - 20,000lb class engine
View attachment 666431
It's vaporware. And SFC looks horrible. Ole Al-31 has SFC 1.92 at AFB but 0.75 at MIL.

From my understanding, the Ukrainians sought foreign investment in the development of it and offered to co-develop with Chinese for their FC-31 - the Chinese were set on buying out Ivchenko Progress recently till the Ukrainian government stepped in.


But not for the FC-31 program. For this they have the WS-13 and WS-19 and surely any such project won't be able to contribute anything meaningful. Again, Progress was sought to be acquired for its helicopter engines and I'm still sure, for this engine, Progress can barely contribute anything or relevance.
 

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