Creating A Successful Turkish-Made Battle Tank And Fighter Jet: A Daunting Task? – OpEd


Certain subjects demand our serious attention and contemplation. The main battle tank has been a topic of discussion for many years. Initial prototypes were crafted, and four tanks were delivered. The quest for a suitable engine proved to be a time-consuming endeavor. Serial production is slated to begin in 2025. Currently, the military relies on old German and American-made tanks, which are ill-suited against shoulder-launched remote-controlled missiles.

On a different front, we are working on our own design, the national combat aircraft, as an alternative to the F-16 and F-35. The early design of the aircraft is substantial and heavy, equipped with two F-16 engines. While the initial prototype is complete, the aircraft has yet to take off or fly. It is expected to fly on 27th December. Its speed would be 1.8 Mach, at max altitute 55,000 ft. Development budget is 20+ billion dollars. Even though it features special paint that grants stealth capabilities, the aircraft’s relatively big size poses a challenge in achieving full invisibility.

The development of combat software for such an aircraft is a formidable undertaking, and it demands a substantial amount of software development time. Constructing a combat aircraft necessitates decades of development; it is not an endeavor that can be swiftly accomplished.

Despite its promising name, the creation of a successful Turkish-made fighter jet poses a formidable and daunting challenge in numerous aspects. From a technological standpoint, it appears to be a formidable task.

One of the principal challenges lies in the fact that Turkey may lack the required knowledge base for such an ambitious project. In comparison to countries such as the United States and the European Union, it is evident that we lag behind in terms of technological advancement.

While some may propose that we can simply mimic existing designs and apply some special paint, the reality is far more complex. Much like how a counterfeit designer bag never truly matches up to the original, constructing a fighter jet demands a level of sophistication and precision that cannot be easily replicated.

Furthermore, there is a pressing question concerning the relevance of such a project. In contemporary military strategies, the era of tank warfare has greatly diminished.

Even in the hypothetical scenario that we successfully manufacture both a fighter jet and a tank, a more fundamental question arises: What purpose will these assets serve? The absence of a clear utilization strategy for these ambitious endeavors casts doubt on their significance.

In essence, the idea of producing a fighter jet and a tank is, for many, a perplexing and dubious endeavor. While it is vital to aspire to great heights and invest in technological advancements, it is equally important to assess the feasibility and practicality of such undertakings. Ultimately, our objective should be to develop a comprehensive strategy that aligns with the demands and necessities of the current geopolitical landscape.

We remain hopeful that, over time, we will surmount these challenges in the realm of national defense. We inhabit a complex geographical region, and the maintenance of a neutral foreign policy in defense is imperative, complemented by the presence of a robust military to act as a deterrent.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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