Turkey defers purchase of F-35 jets
Turkey has postponed the purchase of 100 US-made F-35 warplanes in objection to the American’s refusal to share the aircraft’s technology.
Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said on Tuesday that negotiations with Pentagon officials over procurement of source codes used in the software designed for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), and codes used externally to operate the military aircraft had not yielded “satisfactory results,” Today’s Zaman newspaper reported on Thursday.
He said a range of topics has been covered in the talks but stressed that it did not yield sufficient grounds to convince Turkey to purchase the jets.
“We will evaluate the order in the next meeting of Turkey’s Defense Industry Implementation Committee,” Gonul said.
Turkish engineers reportedly would not be able to make any changes to the software that operates F-35 fighter jets without the source codes. The external flight codes are also necessary to navigate the jets.
The fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II — also known as Joint Strike Fighter or JSF — is a single-seat, single-engine and multi-role fighter. The aircraft can conduct air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions.
The F-35 Lightning II is manufactured in three different main versions; conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL), carrier variant (CV) as well as a short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL). A fourth variant, the F-35 I, is a version exclusively manufactured for the Israeli regime.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway and Denmark have contributed financially to the development of F-35. Israel and Singapore have joined the project as security partners.