Turkey to focus on own combat aircraft after F-35 expulsion

Turkey plans to replace its existing F-16 aircraft with the TF-X National Combat Aircraft being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)


Turkey’s expulsion from the program to jointly produce F-35 stealth fighter jets will boost efforts to develop a Turkish combat aircraft in cooperation with European manufacturers, according to a defence policy analyst.

The United States announced its decision on Wednesday to expel Turkey from the F-35 program as a result Ankara’s acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence missiles that U.S. officials say would allow Moscow to collect data on the defences of NATO aircraft. That will hurt Turkish defence companies and likely U.S. economic sanctions will hit the broader economy.

Defence analyst Turan Oğuz told the pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper the U.S. move would spur Turkish efforts to develop its own fighter jets.

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