March 4, 2019 / 12:40 AM / 9 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 3-Rolls-Royce scales back on joining fighter jet project with Turkey's Kale Group

(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

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