There are plans afoot to use the engines in Turkey’s first indigenous multirole helicopter called T625 Gokbey - a new generation, twin-engine, six-ton class helicopter - helping the country save millionsin hi-tech imports.

On Saturday, Turkey’s Industry and Technology Minister, Mustafa Varank, said that Turkey is set for the mass production of its indigenous turboshaft helicopter engines which, as a move, has the potential to avert annual high-tech imports worth $60 million. 

Speaking at the opening ceremonies of a turboshaft engine delivery facility and a design centre for TUSAS Engine Industries (TEI) in Turkey’s Eskisehir province, Varank said; "Today, we're witnessing a historic day for our defense industry."

There are plans to use the Turkish-made engines in the country’s first indigenous multirole helicopter called T625 Gokbey - a new generation, twin-engine, six-ton class chopper developed in response to a growing market demand.

Thanks to its National Technology Move, Turkey has accomplished goals requiring high technology and advanced design skills which have paved the way for the design, development and production of the engine in just three years, the minister said.

The recent development has made Turkey one of seven countries which has gas turbine engine technology, he added. 

"The new design centre that will make indigenous engines will be the starting point of our new success stories," Varank said.

Adding that while the per-kilogram value of Turkish exports is currently at $1.50, this figure has risen to over $50 when it comes to the defence industry.

"The export value of our first national helicopter engine TS 1400 is $6,000 per kilogram," he added.

During the opening ceremony, tests on the engines, which produce 1,660 horsepower, were completed. The project to create Turkey’s first indigenous turboshaft helicopter engine launched in 2017. 

The importance of TEI, key player of Turkey’s defence industry

TUSAS Engine Industries (TEI) was established in 1985 for the installation of F110 engines that power the F-16 Fighting Falcon. With the technology and experience it gained over time, the company became one of Turkey's leading aviation businesses, specialising in engine and engine parts manufacturing, maintenance and repair, along with its design and research and development (R&D) activities.

TEI has delivered 14 engines over 25 planned projects for the Turkish-made, Black Hawk-type helicopters.  Its 35 years of knowledge, technical know-how, infrastructure and qualified staff that carry out different motor and engine projects for UAVs, helicopters and missiles, has gone into the endeavour.

TEI has also finished its first batch of mass-produced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) engines, maintaining its leading position as a motor and engine parts producer in Turkey.

As part of its Turkish Utility Helicopter Programme (TUHP), TEI produces T-70 helicopter engines by using the nameplate T700-TEI-701D. The company manufactures its motors under a license from General Electric with more than 50percent of the parts contributed domestically. 

The multi-role T-70 utility helicopters were custom designed, based on the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter of Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company.

Currently, the company manufactures more than 1,500 different parts for 50 different aviation engines used around the world. TEI is currently the world’s largest supplier for LEAP motors that power the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Comac C919.

In 2017 and 2018, the company was named the “best supplier company” in the world because of its timely deliveries and superior product quality. It also became the first and only defence and aerospace industry company to win the "Employee Engagement Special Achievement Award" for being among the best employers for three consecutive years.

Moreover, the company has developed several types of engines including diesel, gasoline and jet fuel varieties over the last six years, enabling it to remain a competitive player worldwide. 

When it comes to the TS1400 helicopter engine that was designed for General Purpose Helicopter Gokbey, TEI also broke new ground in terms of manufacturing and material technologies. The company developed a forging technique in aerospace using nickel and titanium alloys. 

Source: TRT World