(Removes paragraph 2 that cited Financial Times report)
By Mekhla Raina
March 3 (Reuters) - British engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc confirmed it had scaled back efforts to join a Turkish programme to build a new fighter jet with Turkey’s Kale Group.
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 ($133 million) to develop Turkish fighter jets.
“We have worked closely with Kale throughout this process and the offer that remains on the table is for a co-developed solution delivered through our JV company, TAEC,” a Rolls-Royce spokesman told Reuters on Monday.
Separately, a Kale Group official said the company was waiting for Turkey’s defence industry directorate to respond to its final offer for the TF-X fighter jet programme.
“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.
The Financial Times had earlier reported on.ft.com/2TiVPUJ the news.
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.
$1 = 0.7545 pounds Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Can Sezer in Istanbul; Editing by Peter Cooney and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty