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U.S.-Turkey F-35 deal stalled

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U.S.-Turkey F-35 deal stalled
An F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft banks over the flightline at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida on, April 23, 2009. The aircraft is the first F-35 to visit the base which will be the future home of the JSF training facility. (UPI Photo/Julianne Showalter/US Air Force) | License Photo

ISTANBUL, Turkey, March 25 (UPI) -- Turkey's planned purchase of 100 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters is stalled over U.S. refusal to share the source code used in the aircraft's software.

The newspaper Today's Zaman reported Thursday that Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, following a meeting of the Defense Industry Implementation Committee, said negotiations over the F-35 procurement tender hadn't yielded "satisfactory results."

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"We will evaluate the order in the next meeting, in light of the progress made in the talks by then," he said,

He said much ground had been covered in the talks in terms of technology sharing but this wasn't enough for Turkey to accept the jets.

The Turkish side had failed to secure the source code and the remote flight codes for the planes for which it will be paying $16 billion, he said.

Without the source code, Turkish engineers wouldn't be able to make changes to software that operates the jets. The external flight codes, which the United States also declines to share, are equally important, if not more, as they can be used externally to navigate the jets.

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