A war of words has flared between Ankara and Damascus this week after a Turkish air force Lockheed Martin F-16 shot down a Syrian air force Mikoyan MiG-23BN ground attacker on Sunday. While Syria described the shootdown as a “flagrant act of aggression,” Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warned Syria that “our response will be heavy if you violate our airspace.” Syria has also accused Ankara of shooting down the aircraft to deflect attention away from Turkish domestic political issues, just a week before local elections.
Turkish Air Force
“It’s clear for us that this is the year of the A400M. The aircraft is ready, and it will be the reference for the next 30 years.” These were the words of Airbus Military’s Domingo Ureña-Raso, speaking just prior to the Paris Air Show.
The international defense industry fair (IDEF 13) held in Istanbul, Turkey, from May 7 to 10 saw the Turkish industry announce a number of developments. The most notable was the revelation of three potential concepts for the TF-X national combat aircraft program, a stealthy aircraft that is ultimately expected to replace the F-16.
Israel had prevented Boeing from delivering two Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft to the Turkish air force, but has now agreed to lift its restriction, according to a November 9 report in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. AIN understands that the Elta division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) provides the vital electronic support measures (ESM) system for all the Wedgetails sold to date–four to Turkey, four to Korea and six to Australia. Northrop Grumman provides the core AEW radar system. Both Boeing and IAI declined to comment on the matter.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) rolled out the first prototype of its Hurkus trainer on June 27 in the presence of Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and yesterday it revealed details of the program here at the show.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has delivered the first of 55 Turkish Air Force (TAF) upgraded T-38M jet trainers to the service. TAI completed two prototypes and is upgrading three more aircraft. The other 50 will be modified at a TAF depot over the next three years, with TAI’s assistance.
The avionics modernization program was designed by TAI and includes 14 new features, including equipment supplied by Turkish defense companies Aselsan and Havelsan. The front cockpit has a head-up display, and both cockpits have upfront controllers and two large head-down displays.
Turkey’s indigenous primary/basic trainer program now has a name–Huˇrkus¸. It officially received its name on May 23, during the International Defense Industry Fair in Ankara. The name honors Vecihi Huˇrkus¸, who made significant contributions to the local aerospace industry and was chosen after a questionnaire was circulated among employees of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).