Despite throwing Turkey out of the F-35 program and imposing sanctions on top Turkish defense industry officials, the U.S. accounted for nearly 40% of Turkey’s defense exports during the first four months of 2011.
Turkey's defense and aerospace industry generated $950 million in exports in the first four months of this year, with the United States taking the lead among importing countries.
The U.S. imported over $386 million worth of defense-related equipment during the period, up 56% from a year earlier, according to Trade Ministry and Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) data compiled by Anadolu Agency (AA), Daily Sabah reported.
It was followed by Azerbaijan with exports worth $117.3 million, up 1,234%, and the UAE with $90.3 million. Sector exports jumped 47.7% from the same period in 2020.
While Turkey has been removed from the F-35 program, the U.S. continues to import parts manufactured in turkey for the F-35. It has sought time till mid-2022 to find alternative sources of supply.
In addition to denying Turkey F-35 jets earmarked for it, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on top officials of the defense industries presidency (SSB) which prevents their travel to the U.S. a freeze on assets held in the U.S. and prohibits U.S. financial institutions from dealing with the SSB.
Turkey has been steadfast in its stand of not backing out of a deal to buy S-400 systems from Russia, and has preferred to let go of the F-35 deal instead.
The U.S. on its part has restricted its actions against Turkey to the F-35 and has continued to sell other systems and equipment. Last last year it approved the sale of GE engine for Turkey's Milgem frigates among others.