BAE Systems and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a Heads of Agreement to collaborate on the first development phase of an indigenous fifth-generation fighter jet for the Turkish Air Force – TF-X. The agreement was witnessed by the Prime Ministers of Turkey and the United Kingdom in Ankara on the 28th of January 2017.

BAE said that the announcement builds upon a pre-contract study phase between BAE Systems and TAI.

F-35 Thunderbolt II Joint Strike Fighter has a story of cost overruns and mechanical failures longer than its name. However, it is flying and it will have to continue flying, as chances of F-22 production ever being resumed are slim to nonexistent, as the production line was mothballed after the last orders were finished. The fact that the most powerful military-industrial complex in the world encountered so many issues producing a 5th generation plane does not seem to deter other countries from engaging in efforts to make their own future fighters.

Signing this agreement ahead of a planned contract with a value in excess of £100 million ($126.96 million), 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."

Northrop Grumman (NG) and its partner BAE Systems have decided not to submit a proposal for the US Air Force (USAF) Advanced Pilot Training program, or known as T-X Trainer program.

Under the agreement, hundreds of Turkish and UK engineers will collaborate on the TF-X programme helping to support collaboration on the skills, technology and technical expertise required to deliver the programme.