Editor's Note: This article was changed to correct the name of the joint venture.
ANKARA — US-based Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) has officially launched TRJet Havacilik Teknolojileri Anonim Şirketi (TRJet), a joint venture company formed with a Turkish partner, to build an indigenous dual-use jet for Turkey.
SNC said in a news release that TRJet will help to open Turkey to world aviation markets. "SNC, together with 328 Support Services GmbH [its German-based subsidiary], will bring new modification standards to the sector," according to the release.
In May, Turkey selected SNC's Dornier to provide primary base models for its future regional jet program. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said that both the Turkish regional jet and an indigenous Turkish fighter would be in the air by 2023 — the country's centenary.
Under the program, Turkey will buy intellectual property rights for the Dornier 328 and Dornier 628 models from SNC, owned by Turkish-American businessman Fatih Ozmen. The company produces integration solutions for aerospace systems.
SNC has launched TRJet in partnership with STM, an Ankara-based defense technology company. TRJet also will be based in Ankara. SNC President Eren Ozmen and CEO Fatih Ozmen will be among TRJet's board members.
Under the regional jet program, STM will lead and coordinate all subsystem production work. Designated local subcontractors are Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries, Tusas Turkish Engine Industries, military electronics specialist Aselsan, military software specialist Havelsan, private aviation companies Alp Havacilik and Kale Havacilik, and THY Teknik, the maintenance and repairs subsidiary of Turkey's national carrier Turkish Airlines.
All aircraft will be produced in Turkey. After technology transfers from foreign manufacturers, both jet and turboprop engines also will be produced locally.
The program envisages the eventual production of four models of aircraft: a TRJ-328 jet and TR-328 turboprop, each with 32 seats, and a TRJ-628 jet and TR-628 turboprop, each with 60 to 70 seats.
Turkey has pledged to place an initial order for 50 aircraft following the maiden flights of the 328 in 2019 and the 628 in 2020.
Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.