Turkish defense companies may suffer temporary losses after the US decision to expel Ankara from the F-35 fighter program, but as a result, the industry will become stronger, said the head of Turkey’s Defense Industry Directorate, Ismail Demir. Reuters reported.
According to him, this unilateral decision of the US does not comply with the agreement signed by the parties. He added that Turkey will continue to fulfill its obligations until its expulsion from the program is completed.
“It is a controversial decision that has no place in the signed agreements. We are waiting for this to become official,” Demir said. “Our companies may face losses initially, and even though issues like sanctions and more may lead to temporary losses for the defense industry, we think it will result in our defense industry becoming stronger.”
The Pentagon said on Wednesday that Turkey produces more than 900 parts of the F-35, and added that the supply chain would transition from Turkish to mainly U.S. factories as Turkish suppliers are removed. Turkey will lose $ 9 billion in connection with the share of work related to the F-35, and will not be able to receive the ordered F-35.
Demir said Turkish defense companies will estimate how to compensate for their losses due to Turkey’s exclusion from the program, noting that other countries participating in the program will face additional expenses of $ 7-8 million per plane as a result of Washington’s decision.
He said Turkey would not purchase foreign defense equipment from now on unless it was absolutely necessary but did not elaborate further.