Erdoğan promises a Turkish fifth-generation "F-35" fighter jet by 2023

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promised Turkey a domestically produced fifth generation fighter jet by 2023 in response to the country's exclusion from the US F-35 fighter jet program for buying the Russian S-400 missile defence system.

Turkey was not only going to be part of the co-production process, but were to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets.

"Now is the time for the National Fighter Aircraft, one of the most important projects of our country's defence industry," commented Erdoğan in a social media post.

The exclusion of Turkey from the co-production of the F35, and the embargo on military equipment by many countries, has created a serious problem in the country's armaments programs.

Erdoğan also officially acknowledged that Turkey is facing a problem with the arms embargo, but did not appear to be bothered and said they could build their own weapon systems.

Setting a milestone in 2023, a pre-election year for him, the Turkish president promised his compatriots a national fighter jet very soon.

Analysts estimate, however, that this is a pre-election firework, since both the time and the means are not enough for Turkey to proceed with the planning and production of its own fighter.

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