Turkey delays F-35 delivery decision

Jan. 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Delivery of the first two F-35 jets to Turkey is up in the air amid Turkish concerns over development problems and costs.

The delay in a decision on a delivery schedule was announced by the Turkish Defense Industries Secretariat.

"Given the current situation of the JSF project, where the operational capabilities of the F-35 aircraft have lagged behind desired levels, and given the increasing drift of costs to supply aircraft in future years, Turkey is re-evaluating its plans with the U.S. government and prime contractor Lockheed Martin," the secretariat said.

"The results of the negotiations in progress with the company in the year 2012 are also being reviewed."

The decision was made earlier this month at a meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Committee, the country's top defense procurement body.

Turkey, member of the international consortium involved with the F-35 program has planned to acquire 100 F-35A planes and said that despite the delivery decision delay will continue as a partner in the F-35 program.

Additional details surrounding the decision were not disclosed.

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