Turkish military may soon place order for regional jets
Burak BekdilThe Turkish military’s headquarters is preparing to place its first orders for indigenous Turkish regional jets that are currently under construction, defense procurement officials have said.
They said the Turkish General Staff will place the orders with the defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), but they did not specify the quantities in the first order.
One official said the military orders would be for both models of the planned regional jet, the TRJ328 and the TRJ628.
The military is planning the TRJ328 for personnel transport and intelligence purposes and the TRJ628 for cargo transport operations.
The SSM is expected to sign a contract with the U.S.-based Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC), the company that is developing the TRJ models for early in 2016.
In June, Turkey announced plans to design, develop and produce an indigenous Turkish regional jet, a first time in the country’s history.
Under the plan, SNC and the Ankara-based defense technologies firm STM created the joint venture company TRJet to build the Turkish regional jet. Recently, however, STM terminated its participation in the venture.
The indigenous Turkish jet will come in four variants: a TRJ-328 jet and TR-328 turboprop, each with 32 seats, and a TRJ-628 jet and TR-628 turboprop, each with 60 to 70 seats. The TRJ328 and the TRJ628 will be based on the Dornier 328 and Dornier 628, respectively.
To proceed with the program, Turkey purchased the intellectual property rights for the Dornier jets. It also said it would place an initial order for a batch of 50 TRJ platforms.
SNC plans to deliver the first TRJ328 in 2019.
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, the maintenance and repairs subsidiary of Turkey’s national carrier, Turkish Airlines.