Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, SSM, is preparing to issue an RfI for the acquisition of a freighter airplane, sources familiar with SSM’s aerospace procurement programs informed TR Defence on Wednesday.
The requirement was said to be for a single airplane at this time.
“[Turkey] needs this aircraft to haul heavy, precious cargo to long distances. For example, when we needed to transport our new reconnaissance satellite [referring to the Gokturk-1] to the TAI (Turkish Aerospace Industries) facilities a few months ago for planned tests and most recently to ship a T-129 [ an attack helicopter] to an international defence exhibition. At the present time, we have to spend a lot of money and rent this service from the international market. The ability to meet this requirement nationally is quickly gaining importance,” stated the report.
Procurement model for the heavy freighter airplane is expected to be a direct purchase with minimal or no domestic industry involvement. RfI is expected to be issued following a long disputed general reelection scheduled for November 1st.
SSM will likely form a new company to be jointly owned with the private sector in order to operate the new aircraft and provide heavy shipping services worldwide while the aircraft is not in use by Turkey.