The selection of an engine for what will eventually be Turkey’s first indigenous fighter jet is the most critical step in the current stage of the program, Turkish officials said, and the government has been in talks with engine makers to assess engine options and modality.

In September, a team from Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), had meetings with UK-based Rolls-Royce on the sidelines of the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London. SSM’s deputy undersecretary, Celal Sami Tufekci, was at the DSEI show with a team of SSM officials.

“Stealth will be one of the most critical features of the Turkish jet,” said one procurement official familiar with the program. “And the engine technology is very critical in attaining the desired stealth capability.” […]