Is Turkey Getting Ready to Build Its Very Own Stealth Fighter?

    Sebastien Roblin

    Security, Europe

    Could they do it? 

    Nearly every country on the globe with both a large defense budget and pressing security concerns is attempting to either purchase stealth fighters from abroad or develop their own. Turkey now joins India, South Korea and Japan in seeking to do both.

    Next month on June 21, 2018 the Turkish Air Force is set to receive the first of thirty F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters from the United States—overcoming efforts by members of Congress to block the sale due to growing foreign policy clashes and concerns over human rights. The transfer ceremony will occur in the U.S., as the Turkish pilots receive training at Lockheed-Martin facilities.

    Turkey invested $ 175 million in the F-35’s development, and Ankara plans to eventually procure 120 of the fifth-generation attack jets. However, in 2013 Turkey began seriously looking into developing its own TF-X stealth fighter as well. Initially, Turkey considered buying into Korea’s KF-X stealth aircraft program, but that fell through due to Seoul’s limited interested in sharing technology.

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