F-35 project to ‘earn Turkey $12 billion’

F-35 project to ‘earn Turkey $12 billion’

ISTANBUL - Reuters
F-35 project to ‘earn Turkey $12 billion’

Turkey is one of nine countries that are part of a consortium to build the F-35. REUTERS photo

Turkey, a member of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, will gain at least $12 billion by the end of the
F-35 project in 2039, a senior executive of the U.S. aerospace industries company Lockheed Martin has said at the 11th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) being held from May 7 to 10 in Istanbul.

“We planned to build 3,100 jets by 2039 in the framework of the [F-35] project. It means a business worth around $12 billion for Turkey,” Steve O’Bryan, the Vice President of F-35 Business Development at Lockheed Martin, said on May 8.

Turkey is one of nine countries that are part of a U.S.-led consortium to build the F-35 fighter. The others are Britain, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Norway and Denmark. O’Bryan stated that if Turkey was not one of nine provider countries of the F-35 project, they could not have achieved it.

“Turkey obtained a contract worth $300 million from this project even though it has not made any jet orders. However, this amount will increase to $1 billion when jet orders start to be delivered,” he said.

O’Bryan stated that “Turkey’s 100-plane order, which will be worth less than $12 billion, will be delivered between 2017 and 2025. But, Turkey will also manufacture the planned 3,100 jets.”

Turkey had planned to order 100 units of the stealth fighter to replace its current fleet, consisting mainly of F-4 Phantoms and F-16 Falcons, but it postponed in January the order to purchase its first two U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets due to technical problems and rising costs, but said it still intends to buy 100 more in the long run.