The US Senate Armed Forces Committee has passed its version of the Nation Defence Authorisation Act, a $716 billion bill.

An amendment added by Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis could potentially see the removal of Turkey from the F-35 programme, over its detention of a US citizen.

This would effectively bar Turkey from purchasing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, if passed into law.

The amendment was also partially motivated by the Turkish purchase of Russian S-400 surface to air defence batteries and makes specific mention that this could result in sanctions on Turkey.

There has been concerns on supplying Turkey with the Lockheed Martin’s latest stealth fighter, even though they are a partner nation of the programme and are planning to purchase 100 of the planes.

The NDAA is yet to become law and the Senate is still to vote on their version of the bill which may remove this amendment.

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I think they would be correct to remove them from the programme – I would imagine that the Ruskies would pay a high price for one of their F35s.


And the US is’nt inteested in the S400 ?




I don’t understand your point. If the US has their hands on an S400 then it is ok for them to allow an F35 to fall into Russian hands?

The whole point of the aircraft is stealth, to get through defences and take them out. If that is compromised by allowing the tech to fall into enemy hands then the whole design is brought into question. It isn’t an out and out fighter like the F22 or Typhoon.


Exactly, without stealth advantages and it’s advanced sensors and cimmunications its fundamentally a big step back from the Typhoon expecially the B version. To compromise that with the way Turkey is going is a big risk. Turkey is clearly playing a game of playing one side off against the other to get what it wants while being firm now might hasten that I suspect in the longer run unless there is a big change in leadership, massaging their ego might make the situation worse 10 years hence than the imediate fractures it might cause. They are rapidly becoming a Fascist… Read more »


I guess they’ve already got one!!


Yeah its a strange sale, I saw another poster has mentioned that the Saudi’s have purchased the S400 in which case the US are bound to have had a chance to check it out. I think like everything else produced by the Russians its capabilities will be significantly exaggerated but if procured is sufficient numbers it would be a credible threat.

Daniele Mandelli

If Turkey is an unreliable ally and security risk then why not?


So when do you think we will see the US placing sactions against Saudi Arabia for purchasing the S400 ? When Hell freezes over.

Daniele Mandelli

No time soon.

I don’t give a monkeys about the s400 if Russia is prepared to sell it.

I am concerned about a supppsed NATO ally getting too friendly with Russia and compromising the secrets of F35.


And unlike Saudi Arabia well on the way to threatening our security. Like it or not morality be ones secondary to ones own survival. If Saudi ever went on the same road as Turkey is headed then the future doesn’t bear thinking about and the world a very hostile place especially to Europe.

[…] post US Senate Defence Bill would remove Turkey from F-35 project appeared first on UK Defence […]


I’m in a split mind over this.

On the one hand this is good because it shows the US standing up to an increasingly authoritarian, Russian leaning government.

On the other hand of Turkey is kicked off the programme then that’s 100 orders gone which, given my understanding of basic economics, would surely result in higher prices for everyone else and as we all know the Mod are going to be even less willing to order 138 if the price goes up.


Total orders are still on track to hit 3k, so I don’t think cutting 100 deliveries to Turkey would have a large impact on unit price.
I think the UK will stick to their order of 138 as it could risk their status as a tier 1 partner. I also don’t think they can reduce orders any lower than they already are and still have a credible air force.


I agree Chris, but I think if the F35 should become compromised due to espionage; then surely the unit value of the 138 would become worthless?

Turkey is playing the wrong hand here, in the past it has been a very valued NATO partner; however you would have to question the behaviour of their government in the last few years.


Isn’t Turkey slated to be the centre for F-35 engine maintenance in Europe? Is that still the plan as of today? If yes, and if Turkey does get kicked out of the F-35 program, then presumably the location of that facility will be up for grabs. If that’s how things turn out then I hope the UK does absolutely everything it can to get it hosted in the UK.


Which will mean ordering all 138 one would imagine. Win win.


Good point. If the engine maintenance centre does come up for grabs or if there is even a hint that it might in the near future pending these Senate debates then the UK backing away from its commitment to 138 aircraft in the upcoming (this summer?) Defence Modernisation Program report would send the worst possible signal in terms of positioning the UK to be the relocated home for that centre. The real win win (win) would be if it did get relocated, the bidding got serious, and the UK successfully negotiated a deal to get the centre based here in… Read more »


There is absolutely no way the UK will back away from the F-35 because they decided not to put catapults on their new aircraft carriers. Their new carriers depend heavily on the use of a high performance vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, and there’s only one available: the F-35.


Real world dilemma.

Turkey has gone rogue. It holds to few western norms, indeed no longer pretends to care. It has actually decided to leverage its ancient role between East & West, playing both sides simultaneously.

A very delicate balancing act for all concerned – including Russia incidentally.

I am minded that Turkey should be removed from F-35 program as they are no longer unambiguously on our side. IPR theft and espionage will Russians and Chinese would have hugely negative implications for the security of the program.

But it’s gonna have a price tag if we do…


A Turkish minister has already threatened retaliation if we don’t go through with it. Even better reason to cut them out IMO.



Wow, that’s the way to do it. 100 F35 almost ready for delivery in one hit to the Turks. No mucking around there, unlike us. Couple here, a couple there.


Reminds me of the incomprehensible bug common argument in Blairs Britain by all parties however that we dare not keep Turkey out of the EU for they might become extremist. We were their prime supporters. Well they have become extremist and thank heaven they are not inside the EU having done so. Placating them around this new issue probably should be influenced by that experience and accept that nothing we can do can seriously effect what way they are going unless we give up all defence of civilisation and simply turn a blind eye to their expanding extremist, intolerance, threats… Read more »

Central Battery Ironclad

I hope that Turkey is removed from the F35 programme. I’ve been concerned by their recent ramping up of military spending and the developments in their military technological capabilities. They’ve also been threatening European NATO member nations and violating Greece’s airspace countless times. The flimsy curtain of Western Civilisation installed by Ataturk has well and truly fallen revealing its true Oriental despotism. Methinks its time to kick them out of NATO.


Someone needs to reign in the authortarian monster Turkey is becoming. They seem to be more akin to Putin style control than a natural NATO partner. They happily allowed ISIS to trade oil & insist everybody becomes good Turks, regardless of culture or ethnicity. Turkey is a great country with very strange leadership.

Rob Y

As I recall 10% of every F-35 is made in the UK anyway. For projected sales of 3,000, that means we are basically making 300 of the things, including 10 of the Turkish ones. If we only buy 138, then those ‘extra’ 262 are a nice money earner for the UK.


I really hope Turkey is removed from the program. The way I see it is that they are a serious security risk and by providing them access to the F35 we would be compromising our own security.

At this point they are in bed with the Russians and are a NATO member only on paper.