Turkey Demands Rights as F-35 Program Partner

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:06 AM, October 30, 2019
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Turkey Demands Rights as F-35 Program Partner

Being an F-35 program partner, Turkey has demanded rights to own the fighters, even as the US removed Ankara from the program and halted training of Turkish pilots of F-35 following shipment of Russian S-400s to the country.

Turkey had planned to acquire 100 F-35 stealth jets.

“We are partners on the F-35 project [US fifth-generation fighter jets]. We want our rights to be granted," Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying by Haberler news on Tuesday.

In addition, Akar denied Turkey was planning to buy 36 Su-35 fighters from Russia. On October 25, Daily Sabah, a Turkish media outlet reported that the two parties were inching close to inking the deal that not only involves supply of 36 planes, but also production of Sukhoi jet components in Turkey.

Ankara may need the aircraft to serve as part of a cooperative engagement capability (CEC) involving the S-400 and the Su-35 where the latter serves as an airborne radar to guide the S-400’s missiles to engage enemy aircraft or missiles, Russian sources told defenseworld.net.

Conversely, data from the S-400’s ground based radars could be networked with the Su-35s for it to engage in an air superiority role, a Russian industrial source explained to defenseworld.net. The S-400’s biggest advantage is its ability to network with other offensive and defensive systems such as fighter jets and the Pantsir low-level air defence system to form an ‘impenetrable’ defensive system, he said.

“Consultations on Ankara’s Su-35 and Su-57 buy are currently underway. However, it is too early to speak about contract negotiations,” Dmitry Shugayev, director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, told on October 22, according to reports.

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