Turkey, Britain to collaborate on 5th-generation fighter

By Ryan Maass   |   Jan. 30, 2017 at 6:18 PM

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- BAE Systems and Turkish Aerospace Industries will collaborate on the development of Turkey's indigenous 5th-generation fighter aircraft.

In the presence of British Prime Minister Theresa May and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, company leaders signed a Head of Agreement pact, paving a way for a future contract to support TF-X's development.

According to BAE Systems, the future contract could be valued at over $124 million.

"The announcement signals an exciting next step in relations between both Turkey and the UK with the co-operation between BAE Systems and TAI paving the way for a deeper defense partnership," BAE Systems chief executive Ian King said in a press release. "The agreement confirms ongoing collaborative work on the design and development of the aircraft."

The TF-X, the plane being developed for Turkey's air force, is being designed to be a twin-engine air superiority jet. Turkish military leaders plan to use the aircraft to replace its legacy fleet of F-16 fighters.

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