Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is looking to the Singapore Airshow to leverage opportunities in Malaysia and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, as it expands its workforce and interests in both the defense and civil spheres.
In addition to one in Pakistan, TAI (Chalet D23) added an international office in Malaysia, after its president, Mahathir Mohamed, paid a technical visit to TAI headquarters in Ankara. During the KL Forum held in Malaysia, Mohamed recently received a TAI delegation, led by President and CEO, Prof. Temel Kotil, at his office.
“We also signed a bilateral agreement on composite production with Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM). During the opening ceremony in Pakistan, Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, inaugurated our office and [learned of] our recent projects and developments,” Kotil told AIN. “Not only is TAI willing to penetrate the Asia-Pacific aerospace market, but its main goal is to develop long-term partnerships delivering win-win business models and products to our partners and customers.”
In recent years, TAI has widened its product portfolio, and at the show this year plans to display mock-up models of aerial vehicles as well as space products. “The main aim is to attract military delegations, as well as government officials, from all over the Asia-Pacific region that participate at the Singapore Airshow,” he said. “TAI has good intentions in the Asia-Pacific region, and expects to build new business collaboration models with countries in the region.”
Most of TAI's business focuses on indigenous product development, and it also produces important components for aircraft projects. In 2019, its component production reached $500 million in value and is expected to reach $2 billion by 2028, when it expects to reach a total worth of $10 billion. Over the past three years, TAI increased its revenues by 43 percent and saw revenues of $2.2 billion in 2019. It employs more than 3,500 engineers, whose numbers have tripled in recent years, and 5,000 technicians.
It has delivered a total of 56 T-129 ATAK Multirole Combat Helicopters, a craft that made its maiden flight last year in Phase II configuration, equipped with a laser warning system and upgraded electronic warfare systems, the company said. TAI is also a major player in the UAV sector. Locally designed, produced, and equipped with domestic components, some 22 ANKA Male-class UAVs have been delivered to the Turkish Army. “Aksungur is the newest member of our UAV family, and has higher payload capacity at higher altitudes,” he said.
“A newer project is the Hürjet Advanced Jet Training Aircraft, expected to replace the Turkish Air Force’s T38 aircraft,” he said. “The preliminary design review process has been completed and the aircraft is expected to be rolled out in the coming years. TAI will also produce a Turkish Fighter (TF), to become the fourth manufacturer of a Fifth-Generation Warfare Aircraft after the U.S., Russia, and China.”
TAI's civil products include the Hürkuş Advanced Training Aircraft, which it claims displays superior aerodynamic performance, high maneuverable competency, and safe flight opportunities. Another project is the T625 Gökbey Multirole Utility Helicopter, the new-generation, twin-engine, six-ton-class helicopter developed by TAI to meet growing market demand for higher mission flexibility. First certification flights of the helicopter were successfully completed a few months ago.
“Gökbey is designed and optimized to meet and exceed multi-mission requirements for hot and high geographical environments and adverse weather conditions,” Kotil said. “The aircraft incorporates several new technology features to provide the highest levels of safety and operational benefits.”