As one of the most assertive engine producers of the United Kingdom, Rolls-Royce (RR) seems to become a part of Turkey’s Indigenous Fighter Jet Project. The company, which drew attention with its striking media planning and important partnership deals on the very first day of IDEF, is affiliated in one way or another with two of the three bidding actors. Responding to our questions, the company authorities clearly maintained that this was the only subject they had in mind.
C4Defence: We would like to have your opinion on the Turkish Indigenous Fighter Program TF-X.
RR Marketing & Communications Director Nick Britton: Good, because this is also what we want to discuss. Let me give you a little bit of introduction. Alex and I work for the defence and aerospace business. We have around 160 customers worldwide in 103 countries, and about 16,000 engines in service around the world. Here is our expertise in this business.
C4Defence: Let us start with the recent investment deal concluded with Kale Group. What does it include?
RR Strategy & Future Programmes Director Alex Zino: What we are doing in Turkey specifically is in the announcement at IDEF regarding the establishment of the joint venture with Kale Group and the engine. We offered joint production to Turkey, which is something we have been working on for over a year now in collaboration with TAI and the SSM. During IDEF, we publicised that joint venture (JV), and we believe that Turkey has the aspiration to become an aerospace centre of excellence on a global scale. This aspiration is also commensurate with our vision. We found Kale a little more than a year ago, and we will be working on a co-developed engine together with the air framers; TAI and the SSM. There are three key features: First, we can work together on a new engine to optimise the system in line with SSM requirements. This is very important in the case of new products, in order to make sure you get the best capability and to adapt the engine to the aircraft so that you can design the two together and make sure they are fully integrated. The second feature is transfer of technology. This is clearly articulated by the SSM and the Turkish Government. They asked for creating a national capability and that allows us what we can see and what we need to do in Turkey. We are setting up this JV to transfer that technology; hence, the product can be designed, manufactured and supported in Turkey. The JV is a Turkish entity; 51 percent of Kale and 49 percent RR. Realising capability transfer and ensuring that the aircraft is optimised for requirements will maximise exports. And we can see clearly Turkey’s aspiration to export the product. Thus, these are the key features and the key reasons why we are here and offering this solution. Three features are, once again; optimisation of the aircraft and capability transfer, which together allow for exports.