Three conceptual design of the TF-X.Wiki Commons/ Mehmet Delice

Turkey's indigenous development of fifth-generation fighter, the Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X) project, gets a major boost with UK agreeing to collaborate with the programme. Both countries signed an agreement to this effect on January 28, 2017 paving way for deeper co-operation between the UK and Turkey.

Read: Russia and India to develop new Fifth Generation stealth fighter; but India wants export rights too

BAE Systems and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed the agreement in the presence of UK prime minister, Theresa May and Turkish prime minister, Binali Yildirim, IHS Jane's Defence Weekly reported. The deal is reportedly valued at over £100 Million.

The report has clarified this as a non-binding agreement, and during the peak of manufacturing, several hundreds of engineers from both the countries will participate and support the collaboration by trading off skills, technology and expertise.

Ian King, CEO of BAE Systems noted that his company is in an "excellent position to contribute technical and engineering expertise and experience of managing complex projects" to help Turkey.

"The announcement signals an exciting next step in relations between both Turkey and the UK with the co-operation between BAE Systems and TAI paving the way for a deeper defence partnership and confirms ongoing collaborative work on the design and development of the aircraft", he added.

Meanwhile, Theresa May said, "This agreement [TF-X] underlines once again that Britain is a great, global, trading nation and that we are open for business. It marks the start of a new and deeper trading relationship with Turkey and will potentially secure British and Turkish jobs and prosperity for decades to come."

Both, UK and Turkey are members of NATO and both the countries will get different variants of the F-35. Turkey has ordered six F-35A and with 94 additional aircrafts in the pipeline. UK has ordered 14 F-35B with 42 more being planned.

The TF-X is locally called Milli Muharebe Uçagi (MMU) project, with an aim to build a modern air aircraft to replace Turkey's F-16s. In late 2015, Ankara had selected BAE Systems as first choice international partner for the project, the report noted.

Currently, there are three conceptual designs of the TF-X floating online, which include a single engine configuration, high agility canard delta configuration single engine aircraft and twin engine configuration. Turkey plans to introduce the TFX by 2025, Defence Market Intelligence reported.