The United States Department of Defence has announced, through its daily contract announcements, that U.S. Air Force will officially buy eight F-35 A conventional takeoff and landing jets originally built by Lockheed Martin for Turkey as part of a $862 million contract modification.
"Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded an $861,731,778 modification (P00040) to previously-awarded fixed-price incentive (firm target), firm-fixed-price contract N00019-17-C-0001. This modification exercises options to procure eight Lot 14 F-35A Lightning II repositioned aircraft as a result of the Republic of Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program, and six Lot 14 F-35A aircraft for the Air Force. Additionally, this modification establishes undefinitized line items that provides recurring engineering in support of the modification of the eight Lot 14 F-35A Lightning II repositioned aircraft to a full operationally capable F-35A Air Force configuration," said the Department of Defence in its announcement.
It was a year ago when Turkey was removed from the F-35 programme, over the course of which she had planned to buy 100 F-35As, after accepting the S-400 air defence system from Russia despite threats from the United States.
By July 2019, Turkey had already started the production and its pilots and maintainers were training to fly and fix them stateside alongside U.S. personnel. Nonetheless, the aircraft were never officially delivered to Turkey, and their fate remained unknown.