Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and the Turkish Minister of National Defense Vecdi Gonul signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to begin future cooperation in the production, sustainment, and follow-on development (PSFD) phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.
The JSF PSFD MOU has now been signed by the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and now Turkey, and will be signed in the near future by the other JSF partner nations -- Italy, Denmark, and Norway. This new MOU will expand cooperation among the nine JSF partner nations beyond the ongoing JSF system development and demonstration (SDD) phase, providing a framework for future JSF program efforts in production and beyond. Turkey joined the JSF SDD MOU in July 2002.
This agreement will have a significant positive impact across the entire spectrum of the U.S.-Turkish defense relationship, including North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance commitments in the years ahead. JSF will provide air dominance, enhance interoperability, promote defense transformation and modernization, enhance affordability and strengthen the U.S.-Turkish industrial base. It is anticipated that remaining JSF partner nations will sign the JSF PSFD MOU before the end of February.
Joint Strike Fighter, as the largest ever DoD acquisition program, continues to set new standards in development of manufacturing technologies, acquisition and business practices, technology transfer, and export licensing. The initial JSF test aircraft conducted a successful first flight on Dec. 15, 2006. The program provides opportunities for partner industries through the best value model – selecting manufacturers and maintainers based on a combination of quality, price, and timeliness.
Once the JSF PSFD MOU signing process is completed, the partners will cooperatively develop, produce, test, train and operate a Lightning II JSF Air System that will enhance the interoperability, survivability, and affordability of our future forces. Continued Turkish participation reinforces the longstanding and close relationship between the U.S. and Turkish Air Forces, providing a solid foundation for future air operations with other allied and friendly nations in a joint and coalition environment.