Turkey Puts F-35 Order On Hold Over US Refusal To Share Technology

Turkey has announced that it is putting the planned purchase of 100 F-35
fighter jets from the US on hold because the Pentagon refuses to share
the source code used in the software designed for the aircraft as well
as the codes that might be used externally to activate the planes.

Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said on Tuesday, following a meeting of the
Defense Industry Implementation Committee (SSIK), that the negotiations
over the F-35 procurement tender had not yielded “satisfactory
results.” He said, “We will evaluate the order in the next meeting, in
light of the progress made in the talks by then.” He said much ground
had been covered in the talks in terms of technology sharing, but this
was not enough for Turkey to accept the jets. He said the costs of the
project had also increased but that the Turkish side had failed to
secure the source code and the remote flight codes for the planes for
which it will be paying $16 billion. Without the source code, Turkish
engineers wouldn’t be able to make any changes to the software that
operates the jets. The external flight codes are equally important, if
not more, as they can be used externally to navigate the jets.

Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Işık Koşaner
and Minister Gonul attended Monday’s SSİK meeting, which took place at
the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) offices.