Decision to Order F-35s Reached at the SSIK Meeting

The Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) has decided to reorder the two F-35s in the JSF Programme that it prev

Issue 53 - May 2014

SSIK meeting has gathered at the beginning of May With important agenda items, the SSIK meeting again adopted important decisions under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan.

In order to meet the new generation fighter aircraft requirement of the Turkish Armed Forces, Turkey, as a member of the consortium beginning with the phase in Concept Development in 1999 and participating in the F-35 Joint Strike Force (JSF) Project by utilising the production and assembly capabilities of the local industry at a maximum level, the point reached as of now was the first item on the agenda of the SSIK. As a result of the review of the situation, the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) was given the authority to reorder the first two F-35A aircraft with a Block 3F configuration within the coverage of the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP 10). Having previously cancelled the two aircraft order, Turkey had waited for the completion of the maturation of the software. The F-35 aircraft delivered up to now has the Block 2A software. The 2B software package to be used on more advanced weapon systems is still being tested by Lockheed Martin. While in the previous version, avionic capabilities, such as MADL, VMF and Link-16 were offered on a limited basis, the Block 3F will be offered with an increase in full capability. Again while the previous version of Block 3i had a limited ammunition firing envelope, in this configuration there is no limitation. The Block 3F will be equipped with more advanced weapon systems compared to the previous configurations and missiles such as the AIM-9X, AGM-154 and the JSOW can be deployed on the Block 3F. It has been indicated that currently 41 percent of the Block 3F software has been completed. According to the existing project calendar announced by the JPO, tests on the weapon integration of the Block 3F configuration are to be completed towards the end of 2017 and become fully operational during the first months of 2018. After the completion of these tests, Turkey will receive the order placed for the two F-35s during the same year. On the other hand, work on modifications to the integration of the Stand-off Missile (SOM) for the 100 F-35 aircrafts that Turkey previously committed to buy are still continuing. During the first phase, the SOM missiles for the two Block 3F configuration will not be integrated but that after the completion of the integration between 2020 and 2024, the Block 4 configuration to replace the Block 3F will include these modifications for the integration of the SOM missile.