June 13, 2019

Can Turkey find substitute for F-35?

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Ahval

Journalist Paul Iddon

As Ankara readies to take delivery of Russia’s S-400 air defence system next month, Washington has made clear its plan to expel Turkey from its F-35 advanced fighter jet programme. Full removal would mean cancellation of the delivery of 100 F-35s ordered by Turkey and its expulsion from lucrative F-35 production.

Turkish officials have insisted it has alternatives to the F-35, such as Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57. Russia says it is ready to work with Turkey on this. Pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak suggested that Turkey was also considering the Chinese-made Shenyang J-31.

Only about a dozen working Sukhoi Su-57 prototypes exist today, and just two J-31s. Meanwhile, more than 400 F-35s have been produced thus far, according to Lockheed Martin.

Turkey’s only other option is getting its own Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) TF-X fighter jet project off the ground, but even that may prove problematic.

Read the full article and more in Ahval.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...