Turkey announced F-35 purchase

Jan. 6, 2012 at 10:00 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Turkey has agreed to purchase two of Lockheed Martin's next generation F-35 fighter jets, officials said.

The official decision paves the way for Turkey's formal participation in the U.S.-led nine-nation Joint Strike Fighter consortium, Hurriyet Daily News reported

Turkey's defense department said it is expected to receive the first fighter jets in 2015. Officials said the military will eventually operate about 100 of the new aircraft.

Other members of the consortium include the United States, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Norway and Denmark. Japan and Israel have also said they would purchased F-35s.

Turkey said Friday it plans to buy as many as 15 light helicopters from U.S.-based Bell Helicopter for use by the Turkish National Police in its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, the newspaper said.

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