GDI Exclusive: Turkey’s Saha Expo 2021


The Turkish defense industry and aviation sector, which have been growing with large investments and projects over many years. It shows its products to the whole world with many important fairs and events. SahaExpo2021, one of the most important of such fairs, was held in Istanbul between 10-13 November. In this regard, many new developments have been learned recently from various sources such as the SahaExpo2021 fair and the Cnntürk Temel Kotil interview. Following are some of the details;

  • One T129 phase-2 light attack and reconnaissance helicopter were delivered to the Turkish Gendarmerie General Command. In addition, the general manager of the Turkish Aerospace Industry (TUSAŞ), According to the statements made by Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil, 67 T129s have been delivered so far, 6 T129s will be exported to the Philippines. If no further orders are not received, the production line will be closed with the 83rd T129 at the end of 2022.


  • Turkey is the 7th country in the world that can produce civil helicopters. In this regard, it has planned to deliver three T625 general-purpose helicopters to the Turkish Gendarmerie General Command in the year 2022. While, as per the defined plan 24 T625 helicopters will be produced every year from 2023 onwards.


  • The roll-out ceremony of the 5th Gen fighter jet TF-X will be held in 2023. The cost of the 5th Generation fighter jet TF-X project developed by Turkey is expected to be $10 billion, and the unit cost per aircraft is expected to be 100 million dollars. While the production of parts for the first prototype will commence in 2025. The TF-X has planned to make its first flight and will produce 24 units a year with mass production starting from 2030.

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  • Structural assembly of Hürjet jet trainer and light attack aircraft continues. The first prototype will be first flown in the 100th year of Turkey (2023).


  • TUSAŞ Hürjet, racing in Malaysia’s tender for 18 light attack fighter aircraft.


  • Turkey’s domestic trainer aircraft Hürkuş has been exported to an unnamed country and the first aircraft will be delivered within 6 months.


  • Turkey realized a satellite export for the first time, 1 small-geo satellite was exported to Argentina with a value of approximately 100 million dollars. In addition, Negotiations are underway to sell 4 satellites to a different country.


  • An export contract was signed with an unnamed country for the Songar machine-gun drone designed by Asisguard.

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  • NATO officially recognized the civil aviation authority of Turkey (SHGM), so that means Turkish-made aircraft such as Hürkuş can be exported to NATO countries.


  • Machinery and Chemical Industry Joint Stock Company (MKE) has developed a 76 mm ship gun for Turkish ships. The first shooting tests of the ball were shown at SahaExpo2021. The project was started after the Italian state blocked the export of OTO Melara production 76 mm guns to Turkey and was completed in a very short time.


  • AI-322F Turbofan Engine Supply and AI-25TLT Turbofan Engine Integration contracts were signed with the Ukrainian Ivchenko-Progress company for the jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle MIUS (Combat Unmanned Aircraft System) project of Baykar Machinery Company at SahaExpo2021.


  • An engine development proposal from Ukraine for the TF-X project. According to Ukraine’s proposal, an engine named AI-9500 will be developed over the AI-322 turbofan engine that will be used in the MİUS project and it is being evaluated by the authorities to use it in the TF-X project.


  • Baykar machinery and Motor Sich companies signed the MS500 turboprop engine technical specification agreement for Akıncı offensive unmanned aerial vehicle. Haluk Bayraktar said that a new engine alternative has been created for the Akıncı with the MS500 engine and that the first flight will be made with the MS500 in 2022 (Ms500 Turboprop engine can generate 1050 hp).


  • Siper Blok-1 missile, which is the first missile of Turkey’s long-range air defense system SİPER project, whose first fire test was carried out a few days ago, is estimated to have a range of 70-100 km. While making statements on the subject, Roketsan General Manager Murat İkinci announced that a new missile with a range of 150 km will follow after this missile.


  • The first two of the Anka armed unmanned aerial vehicles exported to Tunisia were delivered. It allowed Anka to enter the inventory of a different country for the first time. Also, 1 more is to be delivered soon. TUSAŞ corporate Marketing Manager Serdar Demir announced that Anka unmanned aerial vehicles were exported to an unnamed country. Thus, the number of countries ordering Phoenix became 2.


  • The necessary permits were obtained from the United States for the supply of F404 engines for Hürjet jet trainer and light attack aircraft and F110 for the 5th generation fighter jet TF-X.




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