British Rolls-Royce scales back on joining Turkish fighter jet project: report

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PHOTO: Industry Week

British engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc confirmed it had scaled back efforts to join a Turkish program to build a new fighter jet with Turkey’s Kale Group, Reuters reported.

The Financial Times reported earlier that 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.

A Rolls-Royce spokesman told Reuters, “We have worked closely with Kale throughout this process, and the offer that remains on the table is for a co-developed solution delivered through our JV company, TAEC.”

A company official said the Kale Group was waiting for Turkey’s defense industry directorate to respond to its final offer for a new fighter jet program, after the Rolls-Royce’s announcement.

“We presented the best and final offer at the end of last year. A reminder was made in January. We are now waiting for an answer,” Selim Ergün, the TF-X program leader at the Kale Group told Reuters when asked about the Rolls-Royce comments.

In 2017, the Kale Group said it would set up a joint venture with Rolls-Royce to develop aircraft engines after the UK and Turkey signed a defense deal worth more than 100 million pounds ($133 million) to develop Turkish fighter jets.

Last year, Turkish Defense Industry Director İsmail Demir said the door remained open for international engine makers to get involved in Turkey’s TF-X national fighter jet project.

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