Turkish companies consider move to Bulgaria to continue F35 production

An F35 fighter jet in flight

Turkish arms companies are considering moving production to Bulgaria to avoid US sanctions and allow them to continue producing parts for the F35 plane. Turkey was suspended from the F35 programme after receiving delivery of a Russian S400 air defence system in July 2019, which was considered a security threat by the US military.

Eight major Turkish companies - Alp Aviation, Ayesas, Havelsan, Roketsan and Tubitak-SAGE, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Kale Aerospace, and Fokker Elmo – will be directly impacted by the US decision to suspend Turkey from the programme, which is meant to be completed by March 2020. Between them the companies produce a wide range of parts and systems for the F35, including airframe structure and assemblies, production landing gear, engine parts, missile remote interface units, cockpit displays, center fuselages, composite skins and weapon bay doors.

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