Lockheed Martin has been awarded a US$861.7m (A$1.2bn) contract to convert eight F-35A Lightning IIs that were built for or are in construction for Turkey to a standard common to those of the USAF, as well as six new Lot 14 F-35As for the USAF.
No details were provided on what the scope of the work might entail. The contract notice states the eight aircraft are, “repositioned aircraft as a result of the Republic of Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program”, and that the modification will be to, “a full operationally capable F-35A (US) Air Force configuration”.
Turkey was removed as a partner in the eight nation JSF program in 2019 after it acquired an advanced S-400 strategic air defence system from Russia. At the time it had taken delivery of two F-35As and its first cadre of pilots and maintainers were undergoing training at Luke AFB in Arizona.