Turkish defence companies contracted to build parts for F-35 stealth fighter jets have been considering moving production to Bulgaria to sidestep possible U.S. sanctions after Turkey was suspended from the F-35 joint production program, Dünya newspaper reported.
Eight Turkish contractors that had been building 937 parts for the F-35s – Alp Aviation, Ayesas, Havelsan, Roketsan and Tubitak-SAGE, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Kale Aerospace, and Fokker Elmo – have been directly affected by Washington’s decision to wind down Turkey’s role in joint production and complete the process as of March 2020.
Turkey was suspended from the F-35 program after receiving its first shipment of Russian S-400 missile systems in July 2019. The United States views the presence of Russian military hardware in a NATO ally’s defence system as a potential security threat.
Turkey also risks further U.S. sanctions that could be imposed under a law drafted to pressure third parties that deal with the Russian intelligence or defence sectors.
Read more: ahval