UPDATE 2-Turkey likely to order Lockheed F-35 fighters in 2015

Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:47am EST
 
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* Turkey to order two F-35 jets, likely to start in 2015

* Aiming progress on missile talks with China in April

* Turkey to seek compensation from Airbus over late delivery

By Tulay Karadeniz

ANKARA, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Turkey is likely to start ordering F-35 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp from 2015 onwards and it will start with two orders initially, Turkey's undersecretary for state-run defence industries Murad Bayar said on Thursday.

"We will start F-35 orders either this year or the next. Right now, it is likely to be next year," Bayar told reporters. "We will initially order two. The delivery time will be, depending on the orders, probably in 2017-2018."

Turkey had already announced it plans to buy 100 F-35 jets for $16 billion. Bayar said he expected the deliveries of 100 aircraft to be completed within 10 years.

The F-35, considered to be the world's most expensive weapons programme at $396 billion so far, was designed to be the next-generation fighter jet for the U.S. forces.

It is being built by the United States, Britain and seven other co-development partners - Italy, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.   Continued...