More Turkish Lightning?

Turkey’s defense minister Vecdi Gonul announced that the country may increase the number of F-35 strike fighters for its air force to 116, reports UPI. Gonul stated that Turkey intends to procure 100 aircraft, with potential for another 16 airframes. There is no explanation for the potential increased buy. Turkey joined the JSF program in 2006, as a level three partner alongside Australia, Canada, Denmark, and Norway, committing in June 2002 to provide $175 million towards the aircraft’s development and buying about 100 aircraft. It recommitted to 100 airframes when it signed the memorandum of understanding for F-35 production, sustainment, and follow-on development in January 2007. The Turkish air force, one of NATO’s largest, currently operates more than 200 F-16s.