The TFX program envisioned by Turkey offers developing countries such as Bangladesh and Malaysia to jump on board to enhance or grow their own aerospace industries.
The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) offered the Bangladesh Air Force a partnership opportunity in the program.
Turkey has its reason, they know the more partners they get the less risk it will be for their national fighter program. It will also decrease unit cost of the aircraft because the other partner countries air forces will add the TFX in to service.
For Bangladesh Air Force a stealth fighter aircraft is not even in the horizon in the next 10-15 years. Their ability to absorb advance technology is growing however it is limited.
Once a pride of the Bangladesh Air Force the Engineering branch suffers greatly today due to its dearth in technology and manpower.
Infrastructure can be added by spending money however there is no short cut to having a ready supply of qualified manpower.
It is unfortunate but many qualified air force technicians leave the job for better opportunities in the private sector or join the Army aviation group due to better prospects.
Defseca.com was informed the air force can easily induct a good number of single engine fighter aircraft, however due to shortage in technicians the process to induct twin engine fighter aircraft such as the Eurofighter or Rafale would be time consuming. At best in 10 years the Bangladesh Air Force can induct two to three squadrons of twin engine fighters at current capacity.
It is however expected the air force will develop its engineering branch in a more befitting manner to support its growing aircraft inventory.
Until that happens the Bangladesh Air Force does not look like it will be fully capable of joining any major aircraft development programs with developed nations.
The development of core aerospace programs will need the support of a relatively large engineering workforce to sustain programs.
Bangladesh can concentrate on development of much low key projects such as aircraft overhauling, development of avionics, aerial munitions and unmanned aerial vehicles to initially step in to the aircraft manufacturing field.
Countries such as China, Turkey, Italy and South Korea are ideal for cooperation in this sector for Bangladesh’s purposes.