Turkey expects first F-35 delivery in 2018, plans more orders | Reuters

ANKARA Turkey expects to take delivery of its first Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter jets in 2018 and has decided to order a second batch, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries said on Friday.It did not say how many more of the fighter jets it planned to order but said the second wave of deliveries would take place in 2021 and 2022. The statement was released after a meeting of its executive committee chaired by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.Lockheed is building three variants of the F-35 for the U.S. military and 10 countries that plan to buy the jets: Britain, Australia, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Israel, Japan and South Korea.

The U.S. portion of the programme alone is expected to cost $379 billion. A total of 3,000 of the jets are to go into service around the world in coming years.

Turkey placed its first orders in 2014 with two jets, according to the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries website. As of March 2016, its total orders stood at 14 and the aim is to increase the number to 100, it said.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Tulay Karadeniz)

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Updated Date: Oct 29, 2016 00:45 AM

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