Turkey to participate in F-35 fighters manufacturing project

Iran Materials 26 January 2007 13:48 (UTC +04:00)

(Cihan) - Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul arrived in Washington for an official visit. The first item on minister's agenda was the memorandum of understanding Gonul signed on Turkey's involvement in the manufacturing project of new generation F-35 fighters.

Turkey is one of the nine countries to undertake the task. USA, the UK, Italy, Holland, Australia, Denmark, Canada and Norway are the other partners in the deal.

Within the next 15-20 years a hundred F-35 fighters will be purchased. The estimated cost for the fighters of $11 billion is expected to return to Turkey through sub-contracts given to the Turkish defense industry (TAI) for manufacture of the fighters.

The project is regarded as the world's biggest defense project with a total production cost of some $280 billion, reports Trend.

Asked whether Turkey would purchase Europe- made Eurofighters, Gonul said that Turkey would not purchase and that it had decided to buy around 30 F-16 planes instead.

Gonul is expected to meet US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Friday. Commenting on the topics to be discussed at that meeting, Gonul said that whatever was necessary would be discussed at the business lunch.