ANKARA, Turkey — Rolls Royce has signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkey's state scientific research institute to open an "advanced manufacturing technology center in" Turkey.

The move came shortly after Turkey's procurement authorities met in Britain with Rolls Royce officials to discuss an engine they want are looking for to power what will become Turkey's indigenous fighter jet.

The MOU was signed at a high-profile ceremony attended by Turkish Mminister for Sscience, Iindustry and Ttechnology, Mr Fikri Isik, and the British Mminister for Ttrade and Iinvestment, Lord Maude.

Under the MOU, Rolls Royce will work with the TUBITAK research council and related Turkish ministries: science, energy, transport and defense.

Rolls Royce operates similar technology centers in Britain, the United States and Singapore. They The centers aim to to bring together production expertise from industry and ideas from universities to create concrete commercial opportunities.

An industry source said that Rolls Royce hopes to become a long-term technology partner to Turkey's thriving industries, both commercial and defense.

Rolls Royce invests around about £1.2 billion pounds in research and development annually. It operates in more than 50 countries; and applies for some 600 patents on new technologies every year.

Turkey wants to fly its planned fighter jet by 2023, the centenary of the republic although most defense observers view that target with suspicion.