The United States has signed an F-35 agreement with eight countries abolishing an older 2006 deal, locking Turkey out of the program.
The information was revealed to Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu Agency by a U.S. defense official.
The U.S. kicked Ankara out of the $399 billion F-35 project after the latter purchased S-400 missile systems from Russia for $2.5 billion. Sanctions under CAATSA were also slapped in December 2020 for signing the multi-billion dollar contract.
Washington argues the systems would allow Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the 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. Three NATO members – Greece, Slovakia and Bulgaria – are in possession of S-300 defense systems.
Turkish suppliers produced 817 of the jet’s approximately 24,000 airframe part types; and 188 of approximately 3,000 engine part types. Turkey is tasked with manufacturing the jet’s engine propulsion system including electronic wiring harnesses, compressor rotor hubs, bracket assemblies for harnesses, as well as seals for an air turbine. These companies will continue producing F-35 components through 2022.
A U.S. congressional watchdog warned in May 2020 that the U.S. decision to expel Turkey from the F-35 program is likely to compound its already beleaguered supply chain issues from a production increase.
Turkey plans to buy more Russian military equipment
Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed Wednesday that his country was negotiating with Russia to buy a second regiment set of S-400 air defense systems.
He also offered Turkish drones to Russia even as the Kremlin opposed the sale of Bayraktar drones to Ukraine.
“Turkey is selling its drones to those who need them. The deal [with Ukraine] is not aimed against Russia. If Russia has the need to buy our products, it can buy them, just like we earlier purchased S-400s," he told the Haber Turk TV channel.