Turkey will continue making parts for the F-35 through 2020, at least a year and a half after the country was ejected from the Joint Strike Fighter program, the Pentagon’s top buyer said.
Defense leaders had hoped to find U.S. sources for all Turkish-made components by March, but have decided to allow prime contractor Lockheed Martin and engine-maker Pratt & Whitney to honor contractual obligations that will keep some parts arriving until year’s end.
“The majority of our supply chain will be out of Turkey by March 2020,” Ellen Lord, the defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, said Tuesday at a Defense Writers Group breakfast.
But Lockheed Martin and Pratt “have contracts in place that will perhaps carry out to the end of the year” that affect “a handful of systems,” she said. “We continue to manage the program to minimize impact to production.”
The Turkish parts are for six key components of the plane, including the jet’s fuselage and landing gear, an industry source said.
The parts are already paid for, the source said. (end of excerpt)
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