The first delivery to Turkey should take place this year.

Turkish F-35 maiden flight
Turkish F-35 makes maiden flight.

The first F-35A Lightning II for the Turkish Air Force has successfully completed its maiden flight on May 10. The JSF serialled 18-0001 took off from Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility at 2.47 pm LT to perform a flight test of approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes. A chase F-16 escorted the fifith gen combat aircraft during the whole sortie.

Turkey has ordered a total of 100 conventional take-off and landing F-35As. The first batch of 14 jets is already been purchased, with deliveries scheduled to begin later this year. A total of 30 F-35As are scheduled for delivery to the Turkish Air Force by the end of 2022.

However, Turkey's f-35 program could change due to the bill introduced by US senators on April 26 to block F-35 delivery to Turkey. The bill would also block Turkey’s role as a maintenance depot for the aircraft. America is worried by the strengthening of relations between Russia and Turkey.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Clinton White

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