The US, which removed Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program based on the S-400 delivery, has argued that Turkey must make additional payments due to rising costs.
Turkey, which was removed from the F-35 program in September 2021, is in contact with the United States about returning the $1.4 billion payment it made to the program. According to the information obtained by journalist Ali Chinar, on the other hand, the US is demanding an additional payment to Turkey in addition to this payment.
The reason the US is requesting additional payment from Turkey is that Turkish companies involved in the production of the F-35 were excluded from the program due to the sanctions imposed on Turkey by the US, which led to disruptions in the F-35 supply chain and increased costs.
Excluding Turkey from the F-35 program
The United States decided to exclude Turkey from the F-35 program in 2018 because it had purchased the S-400 from Russia. The decision on the F-35 embargo against Turkey, which was approved by the US Senate on August 1, 2018, took effect after being approved by US President Donald Trump on August 13, 2018.
Turkey received the first two F-35 aircraft, numbered 18-0001 and 18-0002, in a ceremony held in the US in June 2018. The US first seized these aircraft in the US for training purposes. It later halted the delivery of 4 F-35 aircraft manufactured for delivery to Turkey. However, Turkey was a program partner country participating not only as a supplier but also as a manufacturer in the F-35 program.
Turkish companies produced 1,005 parts
Turkish suppliers produce 817 of the F-35’s roughly 24,000 body parts and 188 of the F-35’s roughly 3,000 engine parts. This amounts to a total of 1005 pieces. Turkish suppliers continued to supply F-35 parts to US companies until September 2021. As of September 23, 2021, Turkish defense companies stopped supplying F-35 parts and Turkey was officially removed from the program.
US lost $500-$600 million
As a result of the increase in the cost of the F-35 program, the President of the Presidency of the Defense Industry Prof. Dr. Ismail DEMIR explained in March 2021: “The American Program Office, in its own words, said that the issue of the removal of Turkey from the partnership will reach an additional price of 500-600 million dollars with the figures at the time. In addition, according to our calculations, this could lead to an increase in costs of about 7-8 million dollars per aircraft.
Since September 2021, Turkish and US delegations have met repeatedly to return the US$1.4 billion spent by Turkey on the F-35 program. However, no results have been received so far.