Turkey may be left outside F-35 fighter jet project - media

 Turkey may be left outside F-35 fighter jet project - media

Excluding Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program would be challenging due to Ankara’s integral role in the stealthy jet’s production process, but not impossible, U.S. sources familiar with the situation said.

Two U.S. sources familiar with the F-35’s intricate, worldwide production process and U.S. thinking on the issue say Turkey can be replaced. 

"There are about 800 parts that Turkey makes for the F-35, and of them, very few are sole source," said a person with direct knowledge of the U.S. position, explaining that single source parts from Turkey can be replaced by contractors who had previously bid to make them.

"Turkey is not too big to fail," Reuters cited the person as saying.

Replacing or finding substitutes for the Turkish components would slow production for a three-month period at the Lockheed Martin facility that builds the jets, the person said.

Officials with the Pentagon and the Turkish embassy declined to comment.

It was reported last week that the U.S. could soon freeze preparations for delivering F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, a move that would widen the rift between Ankara and Washington.

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