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MAY 2021

New F-35 Program Contract Excludes Turkey

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New F-35 Program Contract Excludes Turkey

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On April 21st, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported that the US and eight other countries had abolished the 2006 deal regarding the F-35 program and signed a new agreement that has excluded Turkey.

The state outlet cited an unnamed Pentagon official.

Washington removed Turkey from the F-35 Lightning II jet program in 2019, arguing that S-400 air missile systems acquired by Turkey could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets and is incompatible with NATO systems.

Turkey, however, insists that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

Despite Turkey’s removal from the program and sanctions imposed on Turkey’s defense industry in December, the US Department of Defense said it would continue to depend on Turkish contractors for key F-35 components.

Turkey is one of the key suppliers for parts for the F-35 program.

Back in May 2020, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said some suppliers had struggled to meet increased production demands in 2019, and as a result, the program witnessed increased rates of late deliveries of parts due to shortages.

Excluding Turkey could potentially worsen the situation.

While the program made progress in lowering prices and increasing production, according to the GAO, about 7,000 of its more than 10,000 airframe contractors’ “key processes” do not “meet predefined design standards for ensuring product quality,” and it continues to face supply shortages that are likely to be exacerbated by Turkey’s removal.

Still “more needs to be done,” investigators wrote in the report on the production of the next-generation stealthy fighter.

“The program is at risk of missing its test schedule and not meeting manufacturing leading practices.”

“The program has identified new sources for 1,005 parts produced by Turkish suppliers, but the program is assessing the effect of 15 key parts not currently being produced at the needed production rate,” it said.

A U.S. official told the GAO that Turkish suppliers will provide parts through deliveries of the 14th production contract, or about 2022, in order to help “avoid disruptions to aircraft deliveries and additional cost growth from standing up new suppliers.”

Turkey’s Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) head İsmail Demir said the country is still producing and delivering parts for the F-35 jets despite being suspended from the program nearly a year ago.

“There was an understanding in the United States that nothing would be bought from Turkey for the F-35s after March 2020, but that approach is no longer there,” Demir said. “Our companies continue their production and delivery,” he noted, adding that Turkey remained a “loyal partner” of the F-35 program.

Taking Turkey out of the project would cost other members of the program up to $600 million, he said.

Since Turkey was de facto excluded, the $398 billion F-35 program has faced many problems since then, including engine shortages.

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15 comments

  1. johnny rotten says:

    Fake-35 is the same thing as Big Pharma vaccines, huge damage for those who take them.

    1. FlorianGeyer says:

      I would think that the Turks are breathing a sigh of relief now that they are not obliged tp spend billions of dollars on a useless US Money Pit. :)

      1. verner says:

        you should remember that when germany backed out of the f35 deal, it upset the morons from the disunited states of insufferable fools no end since the model the germans settled for (f16 ??) was not fitted to carry nukes. nefarious morons or what?

        1. SnowCatzor says:

          *F-18F. At least it’s not from LockMart though.

          The very idea that they would spend billions for a super niche capability they’ll never need is absurd. But that’s the state of the west at the moment…

  2. Arthur Deodat Jr. says:

    Turkey just saved billions of USDs. Now they can spend a fraction of amount for real fighters from Sukhoi family.

    1. Kamīrusan says:

      Did they refund Turkey ? or they just took the money

  3. disTheeNot says:

    Totally FUBAR
    Does this sound like the DOD wants to build a fighter that fights?
    ° according to the GAO, about 7,000 of its more than 10,000 airframe contractors’ “key processes” do not “meet predefined design standards for ensuring product quality,”

    70% fails

    ° said some suppliers had struggled to meet increased production demands in 2019,

    This is the perfect NATO flying FUBAR fighter. Bravo.

    1. verner says:

      in particular or the latest news is about redoing the cockpit for the pilot and advanced some 800 million bucks and then they, lockheed martin that is, ask for another 400 million bucks since the first batch didn’t suffice.

  4. Ivan Freely says:

    Basically this is telling the Turks their NATO membership is only in name.

    1. SnowCatzor says:

      Yup. Only a matter of time before Turkey is kicked out or leaves that stupid alliance. Erdogan prefers his Turkic brethren instead.

  5. verner says:

    I’m sure president putin will sell a number of much better du35s or su 57 to erdogan and the money willlast longer and allow for more planes. guess erdogan is the one getting the better deal and more bang for the bucks.

  6. JIMI JAMES says:

    touch screen at how many gs? Too many poofs not enough real pilots had a say on its concept.

  7. Robert Ferrin says:

    Can’t understand the shortage of any parts for you can make bricks anywhere that’s where it got its name the flying brick, and now I see they may have all the funding pulled from it as the congress has already made their money off from it in under the table payoffs, how sweet it is when you feed at the public trough..

  8. Jim Allen says:

    Erdogan dodged a bullet there.
    Sultan, you are bad man. Buy S-400 from archenemy.
    We punish you, big ! NO F-35 for YOU, and we buy 10% less paprika…
    Sultan: Oh, beat me some more, it hurts really good !!!

  9. Kamīrusan says:

    Turkey doesn’t have to backbone to buy Jets from Russia, we don’t wanna piss off the US anymore now do we

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