Military Factory logo
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships

TAI TF-X (F-X)

Experimental Fifth Generation Fighter Concept

TAI TF-X (F-X)

Experimental Fifth Generation Fighter Concept

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



No longer content on purchasing foreign military goods, Turkey has undertaken local programs that look to stock the western Asian power from within.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Turkey
YEAR: 2030
STATUS: In-Development
MANUFACTURER(S): Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) - Turkey / Saab AB - Sweden
PRODUCTION: 0
OPERATORS: Turkey (probable)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the TAI TF-X (F-X) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
WEIGHT (MTOW): 59,966 pounds (27,200 kilograms)
ENGINE: Assumed: 2 x Turkish Aero Engine Company (Rolls-Royce / Kale Group) Turbofan engines with supercruise capability.




ARMAMENT



Assumed 20mm internal cannon. Assumed internal weapons bays for homing/guided precision air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• TFX - Fifth Generation Fighter Concept Program
• F-X - Alternative Program Name


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the TAI TF-X (F-X) Experimental Fifth Generation Fighter Concept.  Entry last updated on 11/12/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
For decades, the modern Turkish air force relied on Western partners to stock its available inventory. Prospects changed when, during the 1980s, the government inked a deal that would allow local license production of the General Dynamics (now Lockheed) F-16 Fighting Falcon lightweight 4th Generation Fighter. This provided Turkish workers and engineers with the groundwork to further local aviation knowledge and experience which has ultimately evolved today to become a standalone operation with ever-growing capabilities for the nation of Turkey. As such, Turkey stands to distance itself from its reliance on foreign providers of its military requirements in the long term and has set its sights on an indigenous 5th Generation Fighter concept recognized under the "TFX" program name (also known as the "F-X"). Turkey now joins the United States, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea as the handful of nations committed to - or feeling out - the 5th Generation Fighter process. The primary goal of the Turkish program is to find a indigenous successor to the storied and excellent F-4 Phantom II and early-model F-16 platforms while also complementing the soon-to-be Lockheed F-35 "Lightning II" which the Turkish Air Force is expecting to procure in some number. The initial two-year concept phase for the TFX was begun in 2011. In March of 2013, Saab of Sweden was brought in to help support the TFX program from a technological standpoint. Tusas Engine Industries (TEI) is charged with production of the required powerplant.

As it stands today (2013), the TFX resides in three distinct conceptual forms. The foremost favored by the Turkish Air Force is a single-engined airframe with blended wing-to-fuselage lines, a forward-set single-seat cockpit and conventional main-and-tail wing appendages (as in the F-22's unique "diamond" shape). The lean towards a single-engined fighter would ease logistical commitments to the aircraft in both short-term procurement and long-term maintenance costs. The second concept largely borrows the same design though it features a larger fuselage to house the two required turbofan engines within a blended wing/fuselage design. All other facets of the concept remain faithful to the single-engined design. Of course a commitment to a twin-engined fighter would increase procurement costs and maintenance costs over the life of the aircraft though, in turn, providing higher performance and additional internal weapons bays. The third - and most radical - of the concepts becomes a canard-delta planform along a single-engined fuselage intended for high agility handling - similar to the Saab Gripen or Dassault Rafale.

The TFX concepts all share basic intended 5th Generation Fighter qualities including a combination of blended and faceted surfaces, "stealthy" skin coatings and an Active, Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar facility. Regardless of engine make and model, the concept is determined to showcase "supercruise" capabilities in reaching the speed of sound sans the use of thirsty afterburner. Additional internal volume will be used for internal weapons bays as featured in both the F-22 and F-35 developments. Another rather ambitious program goal will be integration from the cockpit to accompanying UAVs through a protected datalink connection. All told, the TFX concept will be similar in scope to the F-22 as an air dominance fighter with internal bays outfitted with both short- and medium-ranged homing/guided ordnance. There may be provision added for the air-to-ground role to fit the F-35 mold (however, as a complement to the F-35, the air dominance role is more likely). With that said, the actual end-product will ultimately rest firmly upon the inherent capabilities of the Turkish aerospace complex as a whole - regardless of how much foreign technical assistance is received. TEI itself will most likely not originate a whole new engine through an expensive design and development endeavor, instead relying on an existing foreign powerplant from Europe, the United States or perhaps even Russia - Turkey maintains historical ties with all three regions.

The Turkish government will formally review the TFX program based on the initial phase concepts in late 2013 before deciding on - or against - pursuing the development phase going forward. It is conceivable that the TFX may involve another major financial/technological contributor to help ease design, development and production costs (similar to the partnerships inherent in recent European aviation products). Should the TFX program be rejected, it stands that the Turkish Air Force - in its recent partnership with Saab - would perhaps settle on the 4th Generation Gripen fighters for the long term. If the TFX program comes to fruition, however, the Turkish Air Force stands to accept somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 aircraft based on the selected TFX concept. Unlike the F-35 - which is limited in its export reach - the TFX end-product could be sold to interested export parties without US-instituted restrictions and the F-35's hefty price tag.




PROGRAM UPDATES

January 2015 - It was announced that the Turkish military will proceed with plans to flesh out the TFX requirement in an effort to produce an indigenous Fifth Generation Fighter solution. The program is expected to include design input from Swedish aircraft maker Saab with a target year first flight of 2023.

July 2016 - The Turkish government has approved the TF-X program, this announced at Farnborough Air Show.

January 2017 - An agreement between TAI and BAe Systems has been announced. UK-based BAe was selected as a foreign partner in 2015. A prototype first-flight is now scheduled for sometime in 2023, pushing an in-service date for a production-quality fighter from 2025 to 2030. The initial agreement covers a $150 million commitment.

May 2017 - Britain and Turkey have formally inked a deal to develop the TF-X fighter jointly. The target year for a first-flight is 2023. Service entry is now planned for 2029. An all-new-build engine will now be considered and developed jointly between Rolls-Royce (Britain) and Kale Group (Turkey) under the joint-venture banner label of Turkish Aero Engine Company. Other engine players still in competition include Eurojet (EJ200) and General Electric.

Novmber 2018 - Turkey has announced its intention to field a 5th Generation Fighter by 2032.
MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.