“Lockheed Martin would be happy to see you by our side during ‘The Republic of Turkey F-35 Delivery Ceremony’ at Fort Worth on June 21,” Lockheed Martin official invitation letter
Lockheed Martin has sent out invitations to Turkey for the official handover of the first Turkish F-35A on Jun. 21, 2018.
“Lockheed Martin would be happy to see you by our side during ‘The Republic of Turkey F-35 Delivery Ceremony’ at Fort Worth on June 21,” Lockheed Martin official invitation letter says.
“The handover of the first warplane will take place after the reception on June 21,” the invitation letter adds. Turkey plans to purchase 100 examples of F-35A, conventional takeoff and landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. According Daily Sabah, Turkey’s first Lightning II will enter service in November 2019.
Noteworthy the handover comes as U.S. lawmakers try to derail the process over the detention of a U.S. citizen and Turkey’s attempt to buy the Russian S-400 air defense missile system.
As already reported, Ankara may switch to buying the Russian Su-57 (or Su-35) if Washington decides to suspend the delivery of F-35.
“If they take such a step at a moment when we are trying to mend our bilateral ties, they will definitely get a response from Turkey. There is no longer the old Turkey,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told private broadcaster CNN Türk in an interview on May 6.
If Turkey had to buy the Su-57 it would be the first country (outside Russia) to buy the first Russian stealth fighter after India dropped out of Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), known in India as the Perspective Multirole Fighter (PMF), which actually was a derivative project of the Sukhoi Su-57.
The following video shows flight testing of the first Turkish F-35A.
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com