Turkiye Wants to Make Ukrainian Engines Domestically Under License

Bayraktar Akıncı UCAV / Photo credit: Baykar
Bayraktar Akıncı UCAV / Photo credit: Baykar

Ukrainian engines are used in a range of Turkish unmanned aerial aircraft and helicopters

A number of Turkish weapon systems are equipped with engines manufactured in Ukraine. Despite the ongoing war, Ukraine continues to supply these engines to Turkiye, stated Mehmet Demiroğlu, new CEO of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAŞ) who took over from Temel Kotil in June 2024 after serving as Deputy President for the company's helicopter branch.

Demiroğlu acknowledges that obtaining necessary components from Ukraine is challenging. "This keeps us on the edge," he said. Nevertheless, Ukraine continues to supply aviation engines for the Turkish defense industry, albeit with some difficulties, the TUSAŞ chief mentioned in an interview with gdh TV. He also noted "great progress" in the issue of local production of Ukrainian aircraft engines under license.

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Demiroğlu highlighted that in December 2023, the first flight of the new Anka-III attack drone, powered by a Ukrainian engine, took place. This UAV is designed for deep strikes and to suppress enemy air defense systems, with a cruising speed of 463 km/h and a maximum speed of 787 km/h.

Additionally, Turkish rotorcraft such as the ATAK-II attack helicopter and the T-925 multi-purpose helicopter also use Ukrainian engines.

The decision to equip its new attack helicopter with Ukrainian power plants was made back in March 2021 because the Turkish industry could not produce the required class of engines.

Illustrative render of an ATAK-II helicopter / Defense Express / Turkiye Wants to Make Ukrainian Engines Domestically Under License
Illustrative render of an ATAK-II helicopter / Image credit: TUSAŞ

An agreement was signed in June 2021 for the supply of 14 TV3-117VMA-SBM1 turboshaft engines. According to the contract, the first two units were to be delivered in September 2022, with the remaining 12 units by 2025. The implementation of this contract is still ongoing.

Notably, several Bayraktar series unmanned aerial vehicles are equipped with Ukrainian engines, too. The Akıncı uses the AI-450T turboprop engine, which set a record in 2021 for the altitude and duration of an unmanned flight, while the Kızılelma is powered by the AI-25TLT turbojet engine.

Defense Express reminds that in February 2024, Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkiye Vasyl Bodnar mentioned that a consortium of Ukrainian companies is competing to supply an engine for the new Turkish KAAN fighter jet. Despite close cooperation with Ukraine in this field, Turkiye primarily seeks to maximize the integration of its own developments into its armaments.

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