By Diyar Guldogan
F-35 Joint Program Office on Thursday said it will continue to execute current program plans with all partners and to abide by any future policy directions.
"The F-35 Joint Program Office is supporting the Defense Department's report submission requirement to Congress on status of the United States relationship with the Republic of Turkey as directed in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act," the office said in a statement.
It added: "The training of Turkish F-35 personnel at Luke Air Force Base will continue until the NDAA-required Secretary of Defense F-35 report has been submitted to Congress for their decision on the way forward."
U.S. President Donald Trump recently signed of a $716 billion defense spending bill which includes an amendment prohibiting sales to Turkey of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets until the Pentagon issues a report on Turkish-American relations in 90 days.
The report is expected to include an assessment of Turkey's participation in the F-35 program as well as the "risks" that would be posed by the country's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Turkey's removal from the F-35 program was taken out of the bill by the Congressional Conference Committee.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Wednesday said: "Turkey is not a country that is only a buyer of F-35 jets. It is a partner in the project. Until now, it [Turkey] has paid the necessary payments it was required to do so."
Turkey has been in the F-35 program since 1999. The Turkish defense industry has taken an active role in their production, including Alp Aviation, AYESAS, Kale Aviation, Kale Pratt & Whitney, and Turkish Aerospace Industries making parts for the first F-35 fighter jet.
Ankara plans to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets in the years to come.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.