It was stated that the US Department of Defense notified Ankara that Turkey was officially removed from the F-35 program.
The US defense official, who made a statement, did not give details on how the notification was carried out.
In the notification, it was noted that the Joint Memorandum of Understanding signed by Turkey in 2007 was abolished and Turkey was not included in the text of the new agreement.
It was also noted that the memorandum was updated with the remaining 8 partners, and no new participants were added to the program.
Turkey participated in the F-35 program as a joint producer with the Joint Memorandum of Understanding.
The participants of the program consisted of the USA, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Canada and Norway, as well as Turkey.
Baykar Technical Manager Selçuk Bayraktar said on the exclusion of Turkey from the F-35 program, “As Baykar, we have recently accelerated our National Unmanned Combat Aircraft project with the maturation of our AKINCI platform, of which we have been carrying out the project for the last 4-5 years. to perform the first flight of our platform’s prototype. ” said.
Bayraktar made a video statement on the USA’s removal of Turkey from the F-35 program on his Instagram account.
Emphasizing that the lack of F-35s is seen as a disadvantage for today, Bayraktar emphasized that it may be beneficial for the national defense industry in the future:
“Because such a system, which is a foreign mission computer and software that is managed by digital computers whose software we will supply from abroad, which we do not have full knowledge of, and which decides what the trigger pushed by the pilot will do or not will do, may expose us to serious restrictions in terms of independent use. We are talking about a project of tens of billions of dollars over the years. Yes, as of today, it will take maybe 15-20 years for us to develop an aircraft with that capacity. The procurement, operation, maintenance and maintenance costs of the national platform to be developed will in any case be less than the F-35.”
Referring to the disadvantages of this system to be procured from abroad, Bayraktar continued his words as follows:
“Considering the possible usage restrictions and potential embargoes with a system that will be procured from abroad and has dozens of avionics, flight and mission computers that we do not have a foundation, the national combat platform will enable us to use it independently.
However, the aircraft, which we will have developed 15-20 years later, may be one generation behind the aircraft developed until that time. Instead of this, our work on the areas where the world is already going, the lower cost, artificial intelligence-equipped unmanned warplanes, which will be the game-changing power of the future, the use of swarm, advanced autonomy and smart use of these systems, makes us one of the leading countries in this field as we do with our S / UAV platforms. can sting. “
The first prototype of the National Unmanned Combat Aircraft will be in the skies in 2023
Bayraktar, who also gave details about the projects carried out by Baykar, said, “As Baykar, with the maturation of our AKINCI platform, of which we have been carrying out the project for the last 4-5 years, we have recently accelerated our National Unmanned Combat Aircraft project. Our goal is to realize the first flight of the prototype of this platform in 2023. My advice to our youth and young entrepreneurs who want to work in this field is that especially unmanned platforms should turn to areas with the most critical technologies. We should prepare for the races of the future from today and look to be the leader where the world goes. ” He spoke in the form.