Lockheed Martin will conduct a rollout ceremony for the first two Turkish F-35 fighter jets despite US senate prohibition to the sales of the aircraft to Turkey.
The company will roll out the fighters in Fort Worth on June 21 and the jets will move on to Luke Air Base in Arizona where Turkish F-35 pilots and technicians will receive training until November 2019, Pentagon Spokesman Mike Andrew was quoted as saying by Hurriyet Daily Wednesday.
He declined to comment on the bill passed by Congress to block the delivery of the jets, saying “Turkey is one of the key members of NATO and a participant of the F-35 development project.”
Turkey plans to deploy F-35s on its Malatya Air Base, in Central Anatolia, where NATO’s key radar facility is also situated.
The ceremony will occur just two days after the Senate passed a $716 billion defense policy bill including an amendment prohibiting the sales of the F-35s to Turkey. The US Senate voted 85-10 for the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which stipulates that US President Donald Trump should certify that Turkey does not threaten NATO, purchase defense equipment from Russia or detain US citizens, the daily report stated.
Turkey has been a partner of the active development program of the US-led multinational Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program since the early 2000s and plans to upgrade its air defense with around 100 F-35s in the next decade.
Turkey will be represented only by the deputy undersecretary for the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, Serdar Demirel, and General Reha Ufuk Er from the General Staff’s general plans and policies division, in a rather low-profile fashion.
It hasn’t yet been announced who will be representing the US government and the US military on June 21. A reception will be held on the occasion of the ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s facilities.
In a statement to the media on June 19, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called on the US to discuss this row on Turkey’s procurement of the S-400s and the F-35s in an open manner.
The United States Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019 on Monday putting a question mark over the proposed sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey. The NDAA obliges the Secretary of Defense to present a report regarding the potential purchase of the S-400 air and missile defense system from Russia by the Turkish government
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed interest in the joint production of new generation S-500 air and missile defense system with Russia. “I have contacted President Putin with a proposal about the joint production of the S-500,” Erdogan said in an interview with 24 TV Thursday
Turkey will not depend on the US for air defense and use the S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries it plans to acquire from Russia ‘if necessary, Turkish President Erdogan said. “We will not just buy the S-400s and place them in a storehouse
Turkey has vowed to retaliate if the United States sanctions Russian S-400 missile purchase, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a diplomatic meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington early this week. "If the United States imposes sanctions on us or takes such a step, Turkey will absolutely retaliate," Cavusoglu said Sunday
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is being awarded a $22,712,874,822 contract modification to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract for 255 F-35 jets, a US DoD announcement said. This modification provides for the production and delivery of 106 F-35 aircraft for the U
A Turkish fighter pilot flew F-35 aircraft for the first time as part of the on-going training in the US, the Turkish General Staff was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency on Tuesday. Early July, the Pentagon said Turkish pilots and maintenance personnel were being trained on the F-35 fighter jet in the state of Arizona
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