Press release

UK and Turkey sign agreement on Turkish fighter programme

Prime Minister Theresa May and Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim have announced a landmark defence industry partnership on fighter aircraft.


The UK Prime Minister and the Turkish Prime Minister have today (28 January 2017) announced a landmark defence industry collaboration between Turkey and the UK.

BAE Systems and TAI (Turkish Aerospace Industries) have today signed a ‘Heads of Agreement’ which will establish a partnership for the continued development of the ambitious Turkish Fighter Programme (TF-X).

Worth more than £100 million, this first contract has the potential to facilitate multi-billion pound contracts between Team UK and Turkish firms over the life-time of the project, strengthening links between the UK and Turkey.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

This agreement underlines once again that Britain is a great, global, trading nation and that we are open for business.

It marks the start of a new and deeper trading relationship with Turkey and will potentially secure British and Turkish jobs and prosperity for decades to come.

BAE Systems Chief Executive, Ian King, said:

BAE Systems is a leader in designing, manufacturing and supporting fighter aircraft and is in an excellent position to contribute technical and engineering expertise and experience of managing complex projects to this key Turkish programme. The announcement signals an exciting next step in relations between both Turkey and the UK with the co-operation between BAE Systems and TAI paving the way for a deeper defence partnership. The agreement confirms ongoing collaborative work on the design and development of the aircraft.

Today’s deal sustains and enhances UK and Turkish engineering capability and will help to safeguard key roles at BAE Systems.

It will also pave the way for a deeper defence partnership and could effectively make the UK Turkey’s partner of choice, positioning it as a key aerospace technology exporter to Turkey.

The wider programme could see the UK win contracts to provide engines, weapons, radars and sensors.

Published 28 January 2017