F-35 fighter aircraft delivery ceremony was held between Turkey and United States at Lockheed Martin's facilities in Fort Worth / Texas. The first two aircraft will be added to the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces in 2019. The training activities in Turkey will begin in 2020 after the first aircraft’s arrival in Turkey. The first two airplanes will travel to Luke Air Base in Arizona July, 2019 to train 13 Turkish drivers and 225 technical maintenance teams. The first F-35 aircraft is scheduled to arrive in Turkey in November 2019.
Serdar Demirel who Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Industry, General Staff Reha Ufuk from the General Staff Plan-Principles Presidency, The Embassy officials, the US Department of Defense and the manufacturer Lockheed Martin attended the ceremony.
The first F-35 aircraft received is the first 5th generation fighter jet to enter the Turkish Air Force inventory. F-35 airplanes will create a multiplier effect in the operational efficiency of the Air Force with superior capabilities such as low visibility, sensor technologies and radar system and Turkey plans to supply 100 units over the years. In this context, 30 aircraft have already been ordered.
At the ceremony along with Turkey's first F-35 aircraft, the aircraft will be integrated SOM-J and Precision Guidance Kit ( HGK-82) which are developed by TUBITAK-SAGE were exhibited.
The integration of national munitions which are developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE is planned after the delivery of the F-35 in Turkey.