Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge met today with Under Secretary for Defense Industries Ali Ercan of the Turkish Ministry of Defense to sign a $175 million memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Turkish partnership in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) systems development and demonstration (SDD) phase.
The Ministry of Defense in Turkey was an early advocate of the JSF for their Air Force and took steps during the previous concept demonstration phase (CDP) to begin their association through foreign military sales for $6.2 million. As a CDP partner Turkey gained significant insight into the program concepts and requirements definition and participated in various capabilities modeling and simulation events. Included in these efforts was a life cycle cost control study, an important area of consideration for the Turkish Air Force that examined the changes to Air Force logistics that should be accomplished to support their JSF aircraft.
As a Level III partner, Turkey will participate with the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, and Norway over the next 10 years of the systems development and demonstration phase. Turkey's $175 million investment will enable them to share in the technological leaps that are a significant part of this phase. Turkish industry will benefit through 'best value' contracting with the prime contractors Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney or General Electric engines along with many sub-vendors. Industry-to-industry discussions are taking place now and will result in a long-term relationship with United States and partner industries. Turkey has an active engine production facility in partnership with General Electric that could play a substantial role in Turkey's industrial and post-production involvement in the JSF.
With today's signing Turkey becomes the seventh nation to join the United States in a broad-based international partnership to develop this 21st century aircraft.