Eurofighter Makes Turkey an Offer
With Turkey’s Defense Industry Executive Committee convening on December 12, 2006 to discuss the F-35 Lightning II’s looming production MoU milestone (among other issues), Eurofighter officials said that the group has made Turkey an offer of its own for the estimated $10-12 billion fighter program. The consortium is offering Turkey “equal partnership with equal voting rights as other member nations” and a sliding scale of local work share depending on the number of fighters bought. The offer reportedly includes a $9 billion local work share with a 120 fighter buy, $6 billion with 80 aircraft, or $3.2 billion with a 40 aircraft purchase.
DID covered previous Turkish discussions with the Eurofighter consortium in March 2005; the aircraft was passed over in favour of Turkey’s ongoing $1.1 billion F-16 upgrade and $2.9 billion fleet expansion programs. This offer is undoubtedly a serious one, giving Turkey a concrete alternative that also promises leverage in their F-35 production MoU discussions. On a less promising note for Eurofighter, Greece’s postponement of 4th-5th generation fighter buys beyond 2011 is expected to lessen the pressure on Turkey to focus on air superiority capabilities, even as Turkey’s stalling EU membership bid may cast a political pall over European offers.