U.S. could offer Turkey’s F-35 parts to new buyers - Defense One
With the United States set to eject Turkey from its F-35 fighter jet programme, Washington could offer contracts for Turkish-made parts to other potential buyers, Defense One reported.
“Contracts for the 900-plus F-35 parts currently made in Turkey could be offered to countries that are considering buying the jet, such as Canada, Finland, Switzerland and Spain,” Defense One business editor Marcus Weisgerber wrote on the site. “It’s common practice for U.S. arms manufacturers to sweeten export deals by offering potential customers manufacturing and co-production work and even technological know-how.”
Last week, Turkey began receiving shipments of Russian-made S-400 missile systems, which U.S. officials say is incompatible with U.S. and NATO defences, repeatedly threatening Turkey with sanctions. On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States would halt the sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey, which is also involved in F-35 production.
Last month, Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition, said Pentagon officials and lead contractor Lockheed Martin had secured backup suppliers for the F-35 parts made in Turkey.
“They’re predominantly U.S. sources,” Lord said at a June 7 briefing. “That’s not to say we won’t continue to do what we always do with good program management and look for other sources, because we would like to have second, third sources for most of the items.”
There’s also the question of what to do with the 100 F-35s Turkey plans to purchase, 30 of which are already in production, according to Weisgerber.
“Turkey is slated to receive between five and 10 F-35 per year into the 2020s. Those planes could be offered to existing F-35 buyers or new F-35 customers, including Poland,” said Weisberger.
In May, Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson said F-35 sales were on the rise and that the company would have little trouble selling Turkey’s F-35s to other countries.