Mrt 14 2011

Debate in Turkey about participation in F-35 project

Gepubliceerd door om 8:14 onder Global F35 News

In Turkey a budget of US$ 10 billion has been budgetted by the Ministry of Defence for the F-35 fighter project, with first F-35 deliveries planned to Turkey some time in 2015. Turkey has planned to acquire 100 F-35A’s
During the last months there is growing awareness that there will be a cost growth in the project to about US$ 16 billion. Turkey wants to have more industrial off-set to compensate the cost growth.

Latest news from Turkey is that they want to have access to the software code, and that the USA refusal is leading to a “Code crisis”. Turkish Newspaper Todayszaman reported Saturday March, 12 2011:
“A “code crisis” has erupted in Ankara that could threaten Turkey’s participation in a US-led project to produce F-35 fighter jets, further complicated by the presentation of a bill to Turkey for an additional $4 billion to offset the growing costs of the project.

The Turkish side in this $16 billion project has repeatedly knocked on America’s door to ask for the flight codes for the fighter jets into which so much money has been invested. However, the Pentagon has rejected these demands on the part of Turkey. America’s refusal to turn over the codes belonging to the jets and to share the software technology used in their production is making Turkey nervous.

Though Ankara plans at this point to purchase around 100 of these fighter jets, there is the awareness in the Turkish capital that without the codes in question, possession of the jet planes will only be partial. There are assertions at hand that the F-35s will be controllable from outside sources, that they may be defenseless against electronic warfare and that no changes will be able to be made to their software. Currently, Turkish bureaucrats and the government are trying to decide on a definitive stance to adopt in this matter. As for the ultimate fate of the F-35s in question, it will become clear at a meeting scheduled for April 13 in the US. Turkey is to be represented at this critical
meeting by the undersecretary for the defense industry (SSM), Murad Bayar.

Despite this debate, it is unlikely Turkey will discontinue their participation in the F-35 project and this kind of negotations may be considered as a typical Tukey’s way of doing business to get as much industrial off-set and an optimal price for their F-35’s.

Todayszaman; 12-mar-2011; Emre Sonca; Code crisis’ overshadows Turkey’s planned purchase of F-35

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