Turkey May Buy Eurofighters
Turkey has expressed interest in buying Eurofighters to meet the Turkish Air Force’s increasing need for fighter jets until deliveries of the U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program actually begin. Turkey joined the F-35 JSF program in July 2002 and has expressed interest in up to 100 planes, but the F-35’s delivery to the Turkish Air Force isn’t scheduled until about 2015. In contrast, the Eurofighter is currently in production. More than 200 F-16 aircraft make up the backbone of Turkey’s current fighter fleet. A team of Turkish Air Force pilots, led by a colonel, test flew three Eurofighter jets in Italy on Feb. 22. They also test flew a C27J transport aircraft.
This consideration comes against a backdrop of several events: Turkey has won a date for the start of formal entry talks with the European Union, is in the process of merging its major defense firms, and is complaining about levels of local work share and technology transfer in a number of defense deals with the United States. Turkish Daily News: Turkey considering joining Eurofighter fray.