U.S.-based electronic systems provider and systems integrator Sierra Nevada Corp., owned by Turkish businessman Fatih Özmen, announced on Tuesday that it has formed a new Turkish company called TRJet, which will produce Turkey's first regional jet. The new company, TRJet Havacılık Teknolojileri Anonim Şirketi (TRJet) was announced at the Paris Air Show. The project is supported by the Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry with its Regional Aircraft project. Last month, Turkey selected Dornier to provide primary base models for its future regional jet program, putting the aircraft on track to join a domestic fighter jet in operation by 2023. Under the program, Turkey bought intellectual property rights for the Dornier 328 and Dornier 628 from Sierra Nevada Corp. Sierra Nevada Corp. produces integrated solutions for aerospace systems. The company signed a memorandum of understanding on May 27 with the Turkish company STM to produce the country's first regional jet.
STM will lead and coordinate all subsystem production work. Designated local subcontractors are TUSAŞ Turkish Aerospace Industries, TUSAŞ Turkish Engine Industries, military electronics specialist Aselsan, military software specialist Havelsan, private aviation companies Alp Havacılık and Kale Havacılık and THY Teknik, Turkish Airlines' maintenance and repairs subsidiary. TRJet will be based in Ankara and will serve the Regional Aircraft project as well as the commercial aviation sector.
The newly launched Regional Aircraft project utilizes the TRJ328 aircraft, a modernized version of the Dornier 328 (D328) as a first step toward production of Turkey's first domestically-built passenger aircraft, the TRJ628. The TRJet subsidiary will ultimately produce and sell the TRJ328, as well as other variants, and will play an essential role in making Turkey's first domestic passenger aircraft a reality. TRJet will combine the legacy of two esteemed aviation companies, Sierra Nevada Corp. and 328 Support Services, to create an aviation and aerospace company that merges cutting-edge German aircraft engineering and the latest industry modification standards.
The Turkish government will capitalize on this technology and on Dornier's legacy of innovation dating back to the start of commercial aviation to support the growth of Turkey's existing civil aviation industry as well as to open the country to the global aviation market.
The 328 is currently certified in 85 countries around the world and is in use in many countries including the U.S., Switzerland, Germany, U.K. and Denmark.
"Sierra Nevada Corp. has pursued international ventures for much of its 50-plus-year history and the company has had business interests in Turkey for several years. Sierra Nevada Corp.'s owners, President Eren Özmen and CEO Fatih Özmen, are of Turkish origin and the establishment of TRJet cements their interests in Turkey as both Özmens take leadership roles as directors in the newly formed company. TRJet will not only be located in-country, but will employ Turkish workers and utilize local subcontractors and vendors, contributing significantly to the region's economy while continuing to develop Turkey's burgeoning civil aviation industry," the company said in a statement. Turkey is committed to an initial order of 50 aircraft after the 328 makes its maiden flight in 2019 and the 628 in 2020.