Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has announced that it will be tieing up with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) owned Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) to develop National Combat Aircraft (MMU), also called TF-X a planned fifth-generation fighter aircraft that will both replace American made F-16s in both countries from 2030 onwards.

The prototype of the TF-X fighter will be unveiled in 2023, the year of the country’s centennial, and aims to have its maiden flight in 2026. PAF that tried to develop fifth-generation fighter aircraft locally under Project-AZM since 2017 has been struggling to go past the study and concept stages to full-fledged preliminary design review (PDR) due to lack of aeronautical experience in the country in the development of locally built fighter jets which now will make way for TF-X fighter.

PAC roles in the development of the TF-X fighter program are yet to be revealed but it is unlikely it will have any major workshare in the program. PAF plans to have all 5th gen fighter jet fleet by 2047 and the TF-X program is the first step towards induction of the first 5th gen fighter jet in the PAF fleet.

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