Ukraine’s Ivchenko-Progress turned down a request from Ukraine’s Ivchenko-Progress TUSAŞ Engine Industries (TUSAŞ Motor Sanayii A.Ş., or TEI) in 2015 for the transfer of technology for turboshaft engines to pave the way for the production of helicopter engines in Turkey, a secret document on Turkish-Ukrainian military cooperation has revealed.
TEI then had to sign a contract with the Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC), a partnership between Honeywell and Rolls-Royce, on December 10, 2015 in order to manufacture its indigenous helicopters. In February 2019 Turkey announced the completion of the turboshaft engine development project TS1400.
The turboshaft system is a form of gas turbine engine. It provides power to helicopter rotors and is designed so that the speed of the rotor is independent of the rotating speed of the gas generator.
According to a secret policy paper obtained by Nordic Monitor, Ivchenko-Progress offered a 50-50 partnership for designing the aviation engine during which each party would develop separate modules. In accordance with the proposal, the companies would meet regularly to review technical modalities and reports, and technical design pictures of the engine would be exchanged following the completion of the project. However, the Ukrainian company refused to share its design software and information revealing its methodology and process.
Ivchenko-Progress has been involved in the design of engines to power aircraft and helicopters of various types for over 68 years, along with drivers and special equipment for industrial application. The company is currently administered the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Industrial Policy.
The Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (Türk Silahlı Kuvvetlerini Güçlendirme Vakfı, or TAFF) document, dated May 26, 2016 and titled “Strategic Planning and Coordination,” revealed that Ivchenko-Progress had agreed to assume full responsibility for the project in the event of a 50-50 partnership and to conduct a technical review of the TEI engine module, but the company did not agree to share its laboratories/workplaces with the Turkish engineers due to relevant Ukrainian regulations.
Moreover, Ivchenko-Progress declined TEI’s project proposals for partnership models providing ownership of less than 50 percent, the training of Turkish engineers and the designation of technical advisors to the Turkish company.