Moscow officially proposes to Ankara to acquire its Su-57 and Su-35 in export version, but also its help to complete the TF-X program
The Russian friend
On March 12, 2021, the Russian Federal Service for Technical Cooperation announced its desire to sell fighter aircraft to Turkey, and not the least of these are the two flagships of the Russian fighter industry, the Su-35 and the Su-57. In addition, the service has also submitted an offer of technical support to complete the development of the Turkish fighter TAI TF-X (Turkish Fighter - Experimental). Following its purchase of the Russian S-400 long-range anti-aircraft system, its eviction from the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) F-35 program, and its involvement in the Libyan conflict, Turkey is now isolated under embargo. NATO even speaks of a "major problem of cooperation".
The Felon in ambush
A fifth-generation fighter-bomber, the fearsome Su-57 "Felon", of which 76 have been ordered, should equip three Russian combat regiments by 2028. It will also benefit from the support of winged drones such as the S-70, or the Molniya developed by Kronstadt, which it will carry in its hold. It would thus offer more than an alternative to the F-35, of which Turkey was expecting around 100. The Su-35 multirole would be offered in the immediate future, thus providing a gap-filler solution for the out-of-breath F-16C/Ds. These aircraft constitute a major threat to Athens. Recall that at the MAKS exhibition in Moscow in 2019, Recept Tayip Erdogan had been particularly seduced by the aerial demonstrations of Sukhoi fighters. But he also seeks to train a new generation of pilots, since many air force cadres had participated in the attempted putsch in 2016. An attempt on which Moscow had alerted Erdogan from its inception.
Presented with great fanfare at the 2019 Paris Air Show, the fifth-generation TF-X demonstrator, which is due to make its first flight in 2025, is now at a standstill. BAE Systems, the main partner since 2015 has stopped all cooperation under pressure from Washington. TAI, its manufacturer, has neither the engineering nor the DTIB to pursue this program independently. Hence the Russian proposal for a joint development of this aircraft that will replace the entire fleet of F-16s of the Türk Hava Kuvvetleri. This partnership, already proposed in 2019, would include the Rostec group, which would supply the engines and the design linked to the stealth of the aircraft. The TAI group would be in charge of the avionics and weapons. The offer is certainly attractive for a highly symbolic program, but its realization would precipitate Turkey's divorce from NATO, and most likely its exclusion. Moscow is therefore seeking to make a double move here...
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