In addition, another possibility is that the Turkish design will lower costs by aiming for more modest radar cross-section parameters than the F-35’s. Those parameters could be between the F-35’s cross-section of .001 square meters and the fourth-generation FA-18 Super Hornet's one square meter. However, the TF-X’s target radar cross section remains unspecified at present.
Time will tell if Turkey is able to produce its own indigenous stealth fighter. The TF-X program has remained under the radar compared to programs such as the Su-57 and India’s HAL AMCA, but that will soon change. Turkey’s persistent goal of a flyable prototype by 2023 will soon provide an early benchmark of the project’s feasibility and prospective performance. This means that sooner, rather than later, the world will see how far Turkey’s TF-X gets.
Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.
Image: Wikimedia Commons