US to go ahead with delivery of first F-35 to Turkey, report says


The United States is planning to go ahead with the delivery of the first F-35 fighter jet to Turkey on June 21, despite an ongoing debate in the US Congress on whether to oppose it, news website Defense News reported on Wednesday night.

According to Defense News, Lockheed Martin told the news website that it is preparing for a rollout ceremony at its production facilities next week.

“The rollout ceremony for Turkey’s first F-35 aircraft is scheduled for June 21,” a spokesman was quoted as telling the website.

A US Senate committee passed in late May a defense policy bill that includes a measure to prevent Turkey from purchasing the F-35s, citing the country’s detention of US citizen Andrew Brunson and its agreement with Russia to buy its weapons systems in December.

But the procedure requires that proposals by the House and the Senate be merged before any decision is made, which could take months.