Contributor Perspectives

The Real Cost of Ejecting Turkey From the F-35 Program

Sinan Ciddi
Board of Contributors
Aug 12, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
Lockheed Martin rolls out the first F-35 fighter jet built for Turkey during a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 21, 2018.

The Trump administration's decision to cut off Turkey from the F-35 fighter program denies Turkey delivery of the 100 or so F-35s it planned to buy and removes Turkish contractors from the F-35's supply chain.

(ATILGAN OZDIL/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump's administration announced in mid-July that the United States was removing Turkey from its F-35 fighter program after Turkey received its first shipment of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system. The U.S. decision will prevent Turkey from taking delivery of any of the 100-plus F-35s it had planned to buy. What's more, the White House's decision also removes Turkish contractors from the F-35's production chain. Turkey was also slated to serve as a maintenance base for the Middle East, where countries that had F-35 fleets could get their planes serviced. This plan was also canceled. It's estimated the Trump administration's move will cost the United States $500 million. As for Turkey, it already has paid more than $1 billion toward its planned purchase of the F-35, money it may not get back....

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