Turkey Plans To Order Four F-35 Fighters, Five Chinook Helicopters

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:06 PM, January 8, 2015
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Turkey Plans To Order Four F-35 Fighters, Five Chinook Helicopters
Turkey Plans To Order four F-35 Joint Strike Fighters

Turkey is likely to order four F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in addition to the two it had already ordered.

The country had originally planned to buy up to 100 F-35s to replace its ageing F-4 and F-16 fleet but budgetary constraints have forced it to order the $175 million aircraft in single digit numbers.

"It has been agreed that four more F-35 planes will be procured in addition to the two previously ordered as part of a plan to buy a total of 100 new generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighters," the defense industry executive committee (SSM) said in a statement.

The decision came after a meeting chaired by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for the first time under his rule to discuss key defence purchases.

It is not clear if the US will agree to this demand as its relations with Ankara have become cold in recent times and just yesterday, the US put on hold a planned delivery of decommissioned US Navy warships to Turkey.

SSM said the committee also decided to place an order for five CH-47F Chinook heavy transport helicopters. This will be a follow-on order to a previous deal involving six platforms.

Turkey's procurement agency SSM also announced its plans to go ahead with the "pre-design" phase in Turkey's bid to design, develop and produce an indigenous fighter jet.

Commenting on the development of the fighter jet, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, chairman of the committee said that a twin-engine model would be pursued in the national fighter aircraft program.

Turkey would continue to negotiate with all three bidders in a disputed program to build the country's first long-range air and anti-missile defense system, which would last about six months.



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