"Turkey to be stronger after F-35 removal"

"Turkey to be stronger after F-35 removal"

Head of Turkey’s Defence Industry Directorate Ismail Demir said that Turkish defence industry will be stronger after a U.S. decision to remove Ankara from the F-35 fighter jet programme.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Demir said the move was unilateral and not in line with the agreement signed between the parties, and added that Turkey would continue meeting its commitments until its exclusion from the programme is finalised.

"It is a controversial decision that has no place in the signed agreements. We are waiting for this to become official," he said.

"Our companies may face losses initially, and even though issues like sanctions and more may lead to temporary losses for the defence industry, we think it will result in our defence industry becoming stronger," Reuters cited the official as saying.

Demir said Turkish defence companies would evaluate how to compensate for their losses from Turkey’s removal, but added that other countries involved in the F-35 programme would face extra costs of $7-8 million per jet as a result of the move.

Head of Turkey’s Defence Industry Directorate also said Turkey would not purchase foreign defence equipment from now on unless it was absolutely necessary, but did not elaborate further.

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