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Turkey's aerial industries prosper

Air China's Shenzhen signs Airbus purchase
Beijing (AFP) Aug 12, 2010 - Air China subsidiary Shenzhen Airlines signed a deal with Airbus on Wednesday to buy 10 A-320 jets, the state news agency Xinhua reported. The airline, named after the southern boom town bordering Hong Kong where it is based, will take delivery of the short-to-mid range planes in 2012-2013, Xinhua said, citing a statement from Shenzhen Airlines. Last month Air China told the Hong Kong stock exchange that Shenzhen Airlines would pay 814 million dollars for the 10 Airbuses.

With other deliveries currently in the pipeline, the airline's Airbus fleet will rise from 38 at present to 64 by the end of 2013, assuming the planes arrive on time. Shenzhen Airlines aims to expand its total fleet from 109 planes at present to 180 by the end of 2015. The purchase of the 10 jets, along with that of 20 Airbus 320 airliners agreed in February, would bring the value of Air China's orders placed with Airbus over a 12-month period to 2.44 billion dollars, Air China said in its statement last month. Air China also said in late June it had agreed to buy 20 Boeing 737-800 planes for 1.4 billion dollars.
by Staff Writers
Ankara, Turkey (UPI) Aug 11, 2010
In a sign of Turkey's growing economic might and sophistication, the country is increasing its indigenous arms production.

Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan said that Turkey's defense contractor KaleKalip will start manufacturing F135 engines for F-35 Joint Strike Fighters along with Sikorsky helicopters under license from the United States' United Technologies Corporation, the Star Gazetesi reported Wednesday.

Caglayan told reporters about his meeting last week with UTC executives aboard a plane en route to Turkey from the United States, noting that UTC's discussions with KaleKalip began last week, adding, "They will sign a deal next week."

KaleKalip initially will produce 90 percent of F135 engines' components for the F-35 aircraft and eventually will manufacture the entire engine. Caglayan said that KaleKalip will launch a $50 million research and development program for the project, adding: "It will start production this year. A group of UTC officials will come to Turkey next week. The plant will probably be based in the Aegean Free Zone."

KaleKal?p's engine plant will be Turkey's second jet engine manufacturing facility, following Tusas Engine Industries, which produces F-16 fighter jet engines.

The F-35 is descended from the X-35 of the Joint Strike Fighter program, whose development has primarily funded by the United States, with additional contributions from Britain and other partner governments, including Turkey.

In a separate initiative UTC has been working with KaleKalip and Alp Aviation on a project to manufacture Sikorsky helicopters with the goal of designing and building a Sikorsky helicopter model entirely in Turkey for export.

Of the joint helicopter project Caglayan said: "They have so far achieved exports of $80 million from Turkey. Talks are under way for $1 million export a day."

In another aeronautical joint venture, America's Pratt & Whitney has joined with Turkish national airline Turk Hava Yollari subsidiary Turkish Technic in operating an aircraft engine overhaul facility at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, 20 miles west of Istanbul, from which the partners expect $500 million in annual sales.

The rising aeronautical cooperation is another sign of the maturation of Turkey's indigenous arms industries, with Caglayan stating current projections of country's defense industry exports are that the sector's turnover would reach $3 billion next year, more than tripling the country's 2009 exports of $832 million.

The Turkish armed forces are benefiting from increased production, as they now procure 46 percent of their defense requirements from indigenous producers, from a low of 20 percent in the past.

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