Despite opposition from the US Congress, Turkey is set to receive its first F-35 Joint Strike Fighters on Thursday during a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
That was reported by CNN.
“Lockheed Martin will hold a rollout ceremony for Turkey this Thursday in Fort Worth, and the two jets will follow-on to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona at a later date,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews told CNN.
“Turkish F-35 pilots and maintainers have arrived at Luke Air Force Base and will begin flight academics soon,” he added.
Although Turkey has long been a participant in the development of the F-35 program, the US Senate had sought to block Turkey from receiving the stealth warplanes through language in the National Defense Authorization Act amid a deterioration of the US-Turkey relationship.
The Senate’s version of the defense bill expressed concern over Ankara’s planned purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft system from Russia and what it labeled Turkey’s unlawful and wrongful detention of Andre Brunson, a US citizen.
Many US officials have expressed concern that a major Russian military system like the S-400 would be incompatible with the NATO systems used by Turkey’s alliance partners.