Turkey is a member of the US led nine-nation F-35 consortium and has stated their plans to reinforce their Turkish Air Force with around 100 JSF’s. Vecdi Gonul, the Defence Minister of Turkey has responded to the questions surrounding the purchase and has stated that the maximum number of aircrafts to be bought would be 116.
He said “The original plan is to buy 100 aircraft, however, there is an option to buy an additional 16, if needed.”
The members of the JSF consortium are the United States, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Britain, Denmark, Norway, Canada and Australia. The Turkish Air Force has also revealed their plans of buying 30 F-16 Block 50 fighters from the JSF’s top producer – The Lockheed Martin.
It is expected that Turkey and a foreign partner will single-handedly plan and build a “national fighter jet” that would be a greatly improved version of the F-35 in the 2020s.