March 4, 2019 / 12:41 PM / 3 months ago

Kale says awaiting Turkey's decision on fighter jet project

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Kale Group is waiting for Turkey’s defence industry directorate to respond to its final offer for a new fighter jet programme, a company official said on Monday, after Britain’s Rolls-Royce said it had scaled back efforts to join the programme.

Turkey’s Kale and British engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc presented a joint bid to develop the engine on Turkey’s TF-X national fighter jet project last year.

“We presented the best and final offer at the end of last year. A reminder was made in January. We are now waiting for an answer,” Selim Ergun, the TF-X programme leader at Kale Group told Reuters when asked about the Rolls-Royce comments.

Talks ran into problems last year because of a dispute about the sharing of intellectual property and the involvement of a Qatari-Turkish company, Rolls-Royce said on Sunday.

The Financial Times first reported the story and a Rolls-Royce spokesman later confirmed the development to Reuters.

In 2017, Kale Group said it would set up a joint venture with Rolls-Royce to develop aircraft engines after the UK and Turkey signed a defence deal worth more than 100 million pounds to develop Turkish fighter jets.

Last year, Turkish Defence Industry Director Ismail Demir said the door remained open for international engine makers to get involved in Turkey’s TF-X national fighter jet project.

Reporting by Can Sezer; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans

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