The reason behind Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East's earlier visit to Turkey was actually about Turkey's indigenous fighter jet project, according to sources. The British automotive and aviation giant was reported to undertake a joint production with a local partner in Turkey and provide all of the technological support needed for the manufacturing of the indigenous fighter jet. Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East, who paid a visit to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Wednesday, was actually interested in Turkey's indigenous fighter jet project TF-X. A deal with Rolls Royce for the revival of the project is expected to be signed any minute. The sources Sabah contacted suggested that the reason behind the said meeting was the TF-X Project. The same sources also noted that the British giant made an offer including all design, development and production processes, and stressed that the company was in talks with a local partner in order to undertake all procedures including the development of TF-X project and manufacturing of its engine in Turkey.
Production plan with a local partner
The operation model, which will be developed following the completion of the agreement, was also determined, according to the relevant sources. Accordingly, Rolls-Royce will undertake the production in Turkey with a local partner that will be provided with all of the tech and know-how needed for the production of the engine by the British firm. Production for nuclear power and the navy was also reported to be among the topics of discussion in the meetings. The company is said to be eager to work with a local partner in the field of energy and make technology transfers. If the contract is signed, the establishment of a joint company with the local partner is expected to kick off by early 2017.
Rolls-Royce eyed the project last year
The selection of engines for the said fighter jet, which is replacing the F-16s in Turkish Air Force's inventory as of 2020s, is of grave importance. Speaking at a press conference last year, Patrick Regis, Rolls-Royce Regional Director for Turkey and Central Asia, referred to the project in question and said, "If the jet has twin engines, we will take part as well with our EJ200 engine. If we are included in the project, we will establish a jet factory in Turkey in 2054." Al Jazeera reported on Thursday that Rolls-Royce is eager to work with Turkey in the defense industry.