The top objection from lawmakers to Turkey receiving the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter is the nation’s agreement with Russia to buy the Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf system. That surface-to-air missile system is considered one of the most advanced on the export market and is advertised by Rosoboronexport as having an "anti-stealth range" of up to 81nm (150km).
Lawmakers also complain about what they say is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decreasing respect for the rule of law, imprisonment of an American pastor, diminishment of individual freedoms, consolidation of power and strategic military decisions that are out of line with US interests.
In response, a bi-partisan group of US Representatives sent a letter to Mattis on 15 June, asking him to block the F-35 deliveries. The US Senate passed the 2019 National Defense Authorisation Act on 18 June with a clause that would also block the aircraft delivery.
Until now, the Defense Department has been silent on lawmaker opposition to Turkey’s involvement in the F-35 programme.
“Removing Turkey could trigger a supply chain disruption for the US military and our partners, as well as increase other program costs,” Mattis says in his letter to the House Armed Services Committee Chairman on 7 July. “If the Turkish supply chain was disrupted today, it would result in an aircraft production break delaying delivery of 50-75 F-35s, and would take approximately 18-24 months to re-source parts and recover.”
In co-ordination with Northrop Grumman, the main fuselage manufacturer for the F-35, Turkish Aerospace Industries manufactures and assembles centre fuselages, produces composite skins and weapon bay doors, and fibre placement composite air inlet ducts. In total, ten different Turkish firms make parts for every F-35 manufactured.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... it-450558/“I understand and agree with Congressional concerns about the authoritarian drift in Turkey and its impact on human rights and rule of law including the detainment of American citizens such as Pastor Brunson,” Mattis says in his letter. “The Administration is pressing Turkey on these issues as well as the potential acquisition of the S-400 air defense system.”
Mattis criticizes Turkey on human rights but still wants it to get stealth jets
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/20/poli ... index.html
http://www.janes.com/article/82026/upda ... -to-turkey
H.R.5515 - John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... 5D%7D&r=23
- Conference report to accompany H.R. 5515—John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (H. Rept. 115-863)
https://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calend ... tID=108627
- Conference report to accompany H.R. 5515—John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (H. Rept. 115-874) (as filed, July 25, 2018)
https://docs.house.gov/meetings/RU/RU00 ... R5515-.pdfSEC. 1282. REPORT ON STATUS OF THE UNITED STATES RELATIONSHIP WITH THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY.
(a) REPORT REQUIRED.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the status of the United States relationship with the Republic of Turkey.
(2) MATTERS TO BE INCLUDED.—The report required under this subsection shall include the following:
(A) An assessment of United States military and diplomatic presence in the Republic of Turkey, including all military activities conducted from Incirlik Air Base or elsewhere.
(B) An assessment of the potential purchase by the Government of the Republic of Turkey of the S-400 air and missile defense system from the Russian Federation and the potential effects of such purchase on the United States-Turkey bilateral relationship, including an assessment of impacts on other United States weapon systems and platforms operated jointly with the Republic of Turkey to include—
(i) the F–35 Lightning II Joint Strike aircraft, including an assessment of the operational and counterintelligence risks posed by the deployment of the S-400 air and missile defense system in the Republic of Turkey and the steps required to mitigate those risks, if possible;
(ii) the Patriot surface-to-air missile system;
(iii) the CH–47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter;
(iv) the AH–64 Attack helicopter;
(v) the H–60 Black Hawk utility helicopter; and
(vi) the F–16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.
(C) An assessment of the Republic of Turkey’s participation in the F–35 program, including—
(i) a description of industrial participation of Turkish industry in the manufacturing and assembly of the F–35 program;
(ii) an assessment of tooling and other manufacturing materials held by Turkish industry; and
(iii) an assessment of the impacts of a significant change in participation by the Republic of Turkey in the F–35 program and the steps that would be required to mitigate negative impacts of such a change on the United States and other international program partners.
(D) An identification of potential alternative air and missile defense systems that could be purchased by the Government of the Republic of Turkey, including air and missile defense systems operated by the United States or other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states.
(3) FORM.—The report required under this subsection shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.
(b) LIMITATION.—The Department of Defense may not deliver any F–35 aircraft to the Republic of Turkey, until such time as the report identified in subsection (a) has been submitted.
(c) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES DEFINED.—In this section, the term ‘‘appropriate congressional committees’’ means—
(1) the congressional defense committees; and
(2) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
- Joint Explanatory Statement for the conference report to accompany H.R. 5515
Sense of Congress detention of United States citizens by the Government of the Republic of Turkey (sec. 1278)
The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 1269) that would make a series of findings, including concerning the Government of the Republic of Turkey’s unlawful and wrongful detention of Andrew Brunson, a United States citizen. The provision would also prohibit the transfer of title for any F-35 aircraft to the Government of the Republic of Turkey until such time as the Secretary of Defense submits to the appropriate congressional committees a plan to remove the Government of the Republic of Turkey from participation in the F-35 program, to include industrial and military aspects of the program.
The Senate amendment also contained a related provision (sec. 6204) that would clarify that the limitation on the transfer of F-35 aircraft to Turkey in section 1269 of the Senate amendment shall apply to the transfer or delivery of that aircraft to Turkey rather than to the transfer of title for that aircraft to Turkey.
The House bill contained no similar provision.
The House recedes with an amendment that would strike section 6204 of the Senate amendment, strike elements of the section 1269 of the Senate amendment related to the F-35 program, and express the sense of the Congress that (1) the Government of the Republic of Turkey continues to unlawfully and wrongfully detain United States citizens, including Andrew Brunson and Serkan Golge, as well as staff of United States missions in Turkey; and (2) consistent with its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, which commits NATO allies to safeguard “the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law,” the Government of the Republic of Turkey should immediately release all United States citizens that have been wrongfully detained and resolve such cases in a timely, fair, and transparent manner.
The conferees note that an assessment of a significant change in Turkish participation in the F-35 program, including a reduction or elimination of such participation, as well as a limitation on the delivery of F-35 aircraft to the Republic of Turkey, are addressed elsewhere in this report.
https://docs.house.gov/meetings/RU/RU00 ... -SD001.pdfReport on status of the United States relationship with the Republic of Turkey (sec. 1282)
The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1271) that would require the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to submit a report on the U.S.-Turkish relationship to the congressional defense committees, the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. The provision would also prohibit any action to execute delivery of a foreign military sale for major defense equipment under section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2761) to the Republic of Turkey until the required report is delivered to the specified congressional committees.
The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.
The Senate recedes with an amendment that would require the report on the U.S.-Turkish relationship to be delivered not later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act. The amendment would add to the matters to be included in the required report an assessment of the operational and counterintelligence risks posed by the deployment of the S-400 air and missile defense system in the Republic of Turkey to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike aircraft and the steps required to mitigate those risks, if possible. The amendment would also add an assessment of the Republic of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program, including a description of industrial participation of Turkish industry in the manufacturing and assembly of the F-35 program; an assessment of tooling and other manufacturing materials held by Turkish industry; and an assessment of the impacts of a significant change in participation by the Republic of Turkey in the F-35 program and the steps that would be required to mitigate negative impacts of such a change on the United States and other international program partners. The amendment would prohibit the Department of Defense from delivering any F-35 aircraft to the Republic of Turkey until such time as the required report has been submitted.
The conferees recognize Turkey is an important international partner in the F-35 program, and that any significant change in Turkish participation could have substantial impacts on the program. However, Turkey’s expressed intention to purchase the S-400 air and missile defense system from Russia raises serious concerns regarding Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program. Moreover, such a purchase would have significant ramifications for the broader U.S.-Turkey relationship and defense cooperation, including the possibility of sanctions. Therefore, the conferees believe the Department of Defense should be prepared for all potential outcomes that would result if Turkey completes a purchase of the S-400 by conducting the assessment required of a significant change in Turkish participation in the F-35 program, including a reduction or elimination of such participation.
- Conference report to accompany H.R. 5515—John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (H. Rept. 115-874) (as filed, July 25, 2018)
If U.S. officials were to expel Turkey from the multinational group that builds the F-35 Lightning II, Turkish defense officials said they likely would pursue Russian fighter jet technology.
“We cannot afford to leave the F-35 not substituted,” a senior military officer told Defense news. He declined to comment on the replacement options, as this would require “technological, economical and political deliberations.”
But a defense procurement official said “geostrategic assessment” would make Russian options emerge as the natural first replacement. “Russian fighter technology would the first best choice if our American allies behaved in an un-allied way and questioned Turkey’s membership in the Joint Strike Fighter program,” he said.
If Turkey accepts the S-400, “no F-35s will ever reach Turkish soil. And Turkish participation in the F-35 program, including manufacturing parts, repairing and servicing the fighters, will be terminated, taking Turkish companies out of the manufacturing and supply chain for the program,” wrote a group of bipartisan lawmakers from the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced a freeze on deliveries and activities with Turkey in relation to the F-35 program over Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400. Turkey insists the first S-400 shipments would arrive in July and the first S-400 system would become operational in September.
A Turkish presidential source said that potential Turkish-Russian cooperation on fighter technology was “preliminarily discussed” between their respective defense officials during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Moscow on April 8.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu told broadcaster NTV on Apri 10: “There are F-35[s], but there are also aircraft manufactured in Russia. If we are not able to purchase [the] F-35, Turkey will buy similar aircraft from other countries. And this will continue until we start producing our own fifth-generation fighter jets.”
https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... lan-flops/However, Russia’s isn’t the only alternative for the F-35. In 2015, Turkey’s procurement authorities released a request for information for the TF-X, the country’s indigenous fighter jet program. Sweden’s Saab was one of the bidders to supply know-how for the initial design phase of the program, but Ankara selected Britain’s BAE Systems for that contract.
“Saab’s commitment to technology transfer was very generous, but its price was expensive at the time,” a Turkish official recalled. “Saab could now revise its bid and incorporate it into the new [no F-35] situation,” he said.
Another option for Turkey is Airbus, a partner in the Eurofighter program based in the Netherlands and France, the official added.
The Pentagon is preparing to transfer Turkey’s industrial participation in the F-35 to other countries unless Ankara reverses course on its plans to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system.
The move — which in early 2020 would end contracts with major Turkish defense contractors such as Turkish Aerospace Industries, Roketsan and Tusas Engine Industries, among many others — is just one of many steps the U.S. Defense Department intends to take to strip Turkey from the F-35 program, according to a June 6 letter from acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
“If Turkey procures the S-400, as we discussed during our call on May 28, 2019, our two countries must develop a plan to discontinue Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program,” Shanahan wrote in the letter, which was addressed to his counterpart, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. “While we seek to maintain our valued relationship, Turkey will not receive the F-35 if Turkey takes delivery of the S-400.”
However, Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, noted that Turkish participation in the program would be allowed to continue if it drops its plan to buy the Russian air defense system. The delivery of the S-400 could occur as early as this month.
“Turkey still has the option to change course. If Turkey does not accept delivery of the S-400, we will enable Turkey to return to normal F-35 program activities,” she told reporters Friday. “Turkey is a close NATO ally and our military-to-military relationship is strong.”
Its first jet was rolled out in June 2018 in a festive “delivery ceremony,” but although Turkey formally owns its jets, the United States has the power to keep the planes from moving to Turkish soil and intends to keep all four existing Turkish jets from leaving the United States.
Lord told reporters that the Pentagon is still deciding what it will do with Turkey’s jets. One option would be to buy the aircraft and repurpose them for the U.S. Air Force, but no official decision has been made.
Turkish companies are responsible for 937 parts used to build the F-35, with 400 of those sole-sourced from Turkish firms, Lord said. Existing contracts would go through a “disciplined and graceful wind down” period in “early 2020,” Lord said.
The most immediate impact to Turkey, according to the letter from Shanahan, is that no new Turkish students will begin F-35 training. This defers the training of 20 students scheduled to begin training in June, as well as 14 students between July and November 2019.
“This training will not occur because we are suspending Turkey from the F-35 program; there are no longer requirements to gain proficiencies on the systems,” according to a document attached to the letter that spelled out the schedule for Turkey’s removal from the program.
In addition, the country will not be allowed to attend the annual F-35 Chief Executive Officer roundtable on June 12 — depriving Turkey of the opportunity to give input on any changes to the program’s governing documents.
But the most major day of reckoning is July 31, when Turkish personnel would no longer be allowed to access Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where pilots are trained; Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where maintainers are trained; or the F-35 Joint Program Office in Washington, D.C., where Turkish “cooperative project personnel” are stationed. Instead, the Turkish personnel must depart the United States and return to their country.
There are currently 42 Turkish military personnel training at Luke and Eglin — four pilots, and the rest maintainers. The July 31 deadline would allow 28 of them to complete their training, but the remainder would be sent home before their training naturally concluded, according to information attached to Shanahan’s letter.
The two Turkish instructor pilots based at Luke, who have completed the F-35 pilot training, would also be sent back to Turkey.
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/06 ... m-in-2020/Asked whether a final decision to buy the S-400 should be interpreted as Turkey bolstering its relationship with Russia at the expense of NATO, Andrew Winternitz, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe, demurred.
“Our counterparts really want to continue our really strategic partnership and our cooperation at NATO. And so we hope this is an aberration,” he said.
If Turkey buys the S-400, he added, “it changes our relationship, but it’s not something that we hope is going to disturb the many-layered strategic partnership that we have in Turkey across a number of issues.”
But other political actions may be unavoidable.
Should Turkey move forward with the S-400 purchase, it could trigger additional sanctions from Congress as part of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which penalizes U.S. partners who purchase Russian military equipment.
It could also impact future military exercises in Turkey, Winternitz said.
After days of silence about whether Turkey will be punished for accepting a Russian-made air defense system, U.S. President Donald Trump has made it clear: Turkey will now be cut off from the F-35.
“And we are now telling Turkey ... we’re not going to sell you the F-35 fighter jets,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday, making clear that he was reluctant about the decision.
Trump portrayed the Obama administration as refusing to sell Turkey an American alternative, the Patriot missile defense system, until after the S-400 purchase was complete.
“It’s a very tough situation that they’re in. And it’s a very tough situation that we’ve been placed in the United States," Trump said. “With all of that being said, we’re working through it. We’ll see what happens, but it’s not really fair.”
The president did not say whether he would impose sanctions on Turkey under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA. But members of Congress this week said the law is very clear: Trump has no choice but to sanction its NATO ally.
https://www.defensenews.com/congress/20 ... re-coming/Days ago, Erdoğan has expressed a belief that Trump has the authority to waive sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of the Russian air defense systems and must “find the middle ground.” But Trump may find Congress closed the door to compromise last year when it set a high bar to waive U.S. sanctions on countries that buy Russian weapons.
Lawmakers from both parties said the waiver language was included to accommodate allies India and Vietnam, it was tailor-made not to let Turkey off the hook for its purchase of the S-400, and a waiver would be impermissible under current circumstances. The White House, under the law, will instead have to choose from the law’s menu of sanctions, several lawmakers said.
“There’s wide latitude about what to do about the sanctions, but the sanctions certainly need to be put in place,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., a Turkey critic and one of the lawmakers involved in drafting the waiver provision, said Tuesday.