On 19 June 2020, Turkey’s Tusaş Engine Industries (TEI) announced that it successfully tested its domestic TJ300 miniature turbojet engine at Turkish Aerospace Industries’ (TAI) facilities. TEI also tested the “core” of its TS1400 turboshaft engine, and is aiming to deliver the prototype to TAI in 2020.
Turkey intends to power its anti-ship cruising missiles (ASCM) and land-attack cruise missiles (LACM) with homegrown engines. It currently imports miniature air-breathing engines from Microturbo to power its domestically developed cruise missiles. The TJ300 reportedly offers a thrust rating of 1.3 kN, which would not be enough for its larger ASCM/LACM designs, such as the Atmaca and SOM. Rather, TEI will steer the TJ300 for a shorter-range application – TEI labels the TJ300 as the “Medium Range Anti-Ship Missile.”
Turkey also developing a larger miniature turbojet engine called the KTJ-3200. It will use the KTJ-3200 to power the Atmaca ASCM and SOM LACM/ASCM. Interestingly, the Turkish private sector – led by Kale – is driving the development of the KTJ-3200. The KTJ-3200 will offer a thrust of 3.2 kN.
The TS1400 is intended for the TAI T625 Gökbey utility and transport helicopter, which flew for the first time in September 2018, but with the CTS-800A turboshaft engine supplied by the joint-Honeywell and Rolls-Royce venture Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC). The TS1400 will offer an output of 1,400 shp, potentially making it comparable to the engine Turkey is seeking to replace.
Ankara has been working to end its reliance on overseas suppliers – especially Europe – for critical inputs, especially engines. In recent years, Ankara found that the governments of its critical suppliers leveraged Turkey’s reliance on those inputs to hamper its defence export sales and overseas military activities…[end of excerpt]
Between the time it started manufacturing air-breathing engines under license to now manufacturing the prototype of its first indigenous turboshaft engine, Turkey took many steps. These steps include funding for research and development (R&D), talent and capacity development – and retention – and many other specific policies. However, while these policies were successful because of the competency or quality of the execution, the actual cause is broader in its scope, and less tangible.
In observing Turkey’s defence industry, one can see that its central planners (i.e., the SSB) valued several key attributes, and implemented them across each institution, state-owned-enterprise (SOE) or program.
These attributes were:
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