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Turkish Aviation Companies Mergehttp://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=813552&C=europe
By BURAK EGE BEKDIL, ANKARA
Two of Turkey’s leading aviation companies formally merged April 28 as part of a government-run program to restructure the country’s defense industry.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and the government-owned Turkish Aircraft Industries (TUSAS) merged under the corporate identity of TAI, a TAI statement said. Both companies are based here.
Under the merger deal, TUSAS’ existence as a legal entity has ceased.
“These two companies will now serve (under TAI’s legal entity) as a united force for design, development, manufacturing, upgrade, systems integration and after-sales services for air platforms,” the statement said.
In January, TUSAS purchased the combined 49 percent stake from TAI’s U.S. shareholders — Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and General Electric. After the acquisition, TUSAS’ shares in TAI rose to 98 percent. At a shareholders’ meeting in March, TAI and TUSAS agreed to merge under TAI’s legal entity.
TAI assembled F-16 fighter jets at its plant in the 1980s and 1990s. It currently manufactures parts for Boeing, Chicago, and U.S. helicopter maker Sikorsky. The company also is a participant in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter and Future Large Aircraft programs.
In addition, TAI has built for the Turkish Armed Forces 60 CN-235 transport planes with Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A., Madrid, now EADS CASA. TAI also has built 30 AS 532 Cougar utility helicopters with EADS unit Eurocopter, Marignane, France.
The acquisition of TAI’s U.S.-owned shares by TUSAS and the subsequent merger are part of Ankara’s plans to restructure its defense companies. The Turkish government plans to consolidate mostly government-owned defense companies and emphasize national design solutions.