British engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc said Sunday it had scaled back efforts to join a Turkish program to build a new fighter jet with Turkey's Kale Group.
Talks between Kale and Rolls-Royce ran into problems last year because of a dispute about the sharing of intellectual property and the involvement of a Qatari-Turkish company, the company said.
Rolls-Royce has abandoned its attempts to win the bid for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft after failing to find a compromise, the engine maker added. The Financial Times first reported the story and a Rolls-Royce spokesman later confirmed the development to Reuters.
In 2017, Kale Group said it would set up a joint venture with Rolls-Royce to develop aircraft engines after the U.K. and Turkey signed a defense deal worth more than 100 million pounds ($133 million) to develop Turkish fighter jets. Rolls-Royce has been in talks with Ankara for several years about the program with a plan to share expertise and intellectual property rights with Turkish partners.
Last year, Turkish Defense Industry President İsmail Demir said the door remained open for international engine makers to get involved in Turkey's TF-X national fighter jet project.
Turkish and British officials made great efforts to finalize a deal. Turkey and the U.K. signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to the U.K. on May 13-15, 2018.
The fifth-generation fighter jet, one of the country's largest design projects announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will be realized within a project-based incentive system. Preliminary design activities received a TL 4.8 billion incentive certificate under the incentive program. The project will employ 3,200 people, with an indirect employment contribution estimated to be around 11,200.
Turkey will, after the U.S., Russia and China, take its place among the countries in the world that have the infrastructure and technology to produce the fifth-generation fighter jet.