F-35 aircrafts, designed and produced in the framework of the Joint Strike Fighter (Joint Strike Fighter) program has long occupied Turkey’s agenda.
Turkey was both producer and supplier in the program. As part of the program, the producers located in Turkey have manufactured a number of critical parts for the aircraft and still continue to comply with the program
After so many years of ongoing processes for Turkey’s procurement of air defense system, as a result of various reasons, Turkey decided to procure S-400 air defense systems and signed a contract with Russia. Delivery of the systems started in July 2019.
At this point, the greatest problem is that as a member of NATO, Turkey purchased Russian strategic weapons systems. In return, U.S.A announced that F-35 aircrafts would not be delivered to Turkey unless Turkey infringes the agreement for S-400s. Despite all, considering the latest statements, Turkey still remains as a contributor to the productiın of F-35 aircrafts.
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was drafted in the U.S. Senate for the purpose of the defense budget preparation for 2021. In the draft, it is stated that as Turkey’s membership to the F-35 program has been suspended, the inclusion of 6 Turkish F-35 fighter aircrafts into the U.S Air Forces inventory has been authorized.[K]
The House of Representatives will also prepare their own NDAA draft, and then the final text upon merging two drafts will be presented to the President for his approval.[K]
“What happened in the past will not exacerbate the situation.Even today, our companies are fully committed to working on the program. They continue their production process and their programs for timely delivery. None of our companies have chosen to halt or slow down the the course of production or do anything else due to this decision. On the contrary, they continued to produce and deliver products under our leadership. “
said İsmail Demir, President of Defense Industries in a statement regarding the F-35 program.
National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also said unless positive developments take place, Turkey will do whatever is required.