Problems for F-35 in Turkey

Problems for F-35 in Turkey 17 July, 2019


S-400 air defence systems that Turkey had purchased from Russia, arrived in Turkey. Missiles, which form the strike force of the system, are expected to arrive by navy soon. With these developments, Turkey, is progressing step by step in the supply route maps previously announced.

In other side, the US, that openly opposed to Turkey to acquire these systems, and announced the roadmap as precaution. In the US’ roadmap, priority is given to F-35 aircraft. At present, other aerial platforms such as the F-16 and weapons systems are not the subject of sanctions. The list of sanctions that will come into force if US President Donald Trump approve are:

There are currently 42 students attending F-35 training in the U.S. at Luke Air Force Base and Eglin Air Force Base which are

  • 18 are scheduled to complete training in June,
  • 12 are schedules to complete training in July,
  • 10 are Scheduled to complete training in August,
  • 2 are scheduled to complete training in September.

Turkish personnel in F-35 training can remain in the U.S. through July 31, 2019. This will allow for minimal disruption to Turkish personnel since a majority will complete their training and the remainder will have sufficient time to be reassigned.

All Turkish personnel, including 2 instructor pilots, in the U.S related to the F-35 program will be required to depart the country July 31, 2019. At this point, all Invitational Travel Orders (ITOs) and/or Common Access Cards (CACs) will be cancelled and Turkish Air Force personnel will be prohibited from entering Luke AFB or Eglin AFB and applicable buildings.

No new F-35 Training: There were 34 students scheduled to begin F-35 training later his year (20 students in June 2019; 14 student between July-November 2019). This training will not occur because the U.S suspending Turkey from the F-35 program. There are no longer requirements to gain proficiencies on the systems.

Cooperative Project Personnel (CPP) at Joint Program Office

Turkey will reassign its personnel from the Joint Program Office (JPO) no later then July 31, 2019. At this point, all Invitational Travel ORders (ITOs) and/or Common Access Cards (CACs) will be cancelled and Turkish Air Force personnel will be prohibited from entering JPO facilities.

No Partipication in the F-35 CEO Roundtable

To facilitate the future absence of Turkish participation in F-35 programmatic activities, Turkey will not participate in the annual CEO Roundtable on June 12, 2019.

Production, Sustainment, Follow-on Development (PSFD) MOU

The F-35 Partnership requires a planned update to the PSFD MOU. The U.S will lead negotiations of that update with all partners except Turkey. The U.S. must plan on an F-35 program absent of Turkish Partner's participation.

F-35 Workshare

Suspension of F-35 Equipment to Turkey

The U.S. will continue to suspend indefinitely F-35 material deliveries and activities, including AT-6 and AT-6 aircraft.

F-35 Workshare Assignments

Turkey will receive no new workshare in the F-35 program. Its current workshare will be transitioned to alternate sources as they are qualified and come to rate production.


Turkey has nine companies as the main contractor F-35 program.

• Alp Aviation currently manufactures F-35 production airframe structure and assemblies, production landing gear components and over 100 F135 production engine parts to include titanium integrated blade rotors.
• ASELSAN manufactures Avionic Interface Control Module for Communication, Navigation and Detection System of F-35 aircraft.
• Ayesas currently is the sole source supplier for two major F-35 components – missile remote interface unit and the panoramic cockpit display.
• Fokker Elmo manufactures 40 percent of the F-35 Electrical Wiring & Interconnection System (EWIS) and will also deliver and support TAI with all center section wiring systems. Fokker Elmo is also developing the EWIS for the F135 engine, for which a major share is produced in Fokker Elmo Turkey in Izmir.
• Havelsan is developing the construct of the future Turkish F-35 Integrated Pilot and Maintenance Training Centre (ITC) and associated training systems in Turkey.
• Kale Aerospace has been in F-35 Program since 2005. In conjunction with Turkish Aerospace Industries, they manufacture and produce F-35 airframe structures and assemblies. Kale Aero also supports Heroux Devtek as the sole source supplier for all three variants landing gear up lock assemblies. Additionally, Kale Aerospace has also established a joint venture in Izmir with Pratt & Whitney and is manufacturing production hardware for the F135 engine.
• ROKETSAN and Tubitak-SAGE are the Turkish joint leadership team who strategically manage the development, integration, and production of the advanced precision-guided Stand-off Missile (SOM-J) which will be carried internally on the 5th Generation F-35 aircraft. 
• Turkish Aerospace strategic partner of the F-35 Program. The company currently supplies production hardware that goes into every F-35 production aircraft. In conjunction with Northrup Grumman, TAI manufactures and assembles the centre fuselages, produces composite skins and weapon bay doors, and manufactures fibber placement composite air inlet ducts. Additionally, TAI is strategically manufacturing 45 percent of the F-35’s including Air-to-Ground Pylons and adapters which is Alternate Mission Equipment (AME).


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