back to article What next for the F-35 after Turkey's threats to turn its back on NATO?

Turkey has hinted it may try to leave NATO – which could cause difficulties for the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme because the country has signed up to buy 100 of the advanced jet fighters. Speaking to state news agency Anadolu, Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, hit out at both NATO and the EU over their lack of …

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"Currently there are 3,100 F-35s on order from 12 countries, with 2,400 of those being destined for the US. Britain's purchase of 138 F-35Bs is intended chiefly to equip the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm for deployment aboard Britain's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers."

The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign. You pledge a few trillion, we will develop the aircraft etc etc.

Then when the eta whooshes past, the excuses, the problems, the infighting all start happening.

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WTF?

"The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

You must be a Millennial, since you seem to think a 300+ year old business model is new & original to Kickstarter. I've got news for you: Nothing about Kickstarters business model is new or innovative. All of the old Natural History books for example, by the likes of Audubon, Humboldt, etc were not printed unless they got a large enough pool of presubscriptions & deposits to fund the printing. A huge number of industries have used a similar "prefunding" concept over the centuries.

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Re: "The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

"Nothing about Kickstarters business model is new or innovative. "

You have to admit it's fairly innovative. They've set up a site that matches suckers with money to hucksters who want to take it from them. And they skim a mere 8% of all the cash flowing from one side to another for this matchmaking service.

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Re: "The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

@TMWFTE

You may notice that the comment was absurd. Taking the current F-35 issues and comparing it to various issues that have had some high profile 'bumps' on kickstarter. But, like, whatever dude...#amibothered*

*Sorry, not sure? Is this how 'millennials' speak? But I appreciate you taking the time to educate me, even if it was unnecessary.

It shows you care.

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Re: "The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

You have to admit it's fairly innovative.

No.. it's not. Consider bankers, stock brokers, and bookies...

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Re: "The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

"You have to admit it's fairly innovative. They've set up a site that matches suckers with money to hucksters who want to take it from them. And they skim a mere 8% of all the cash flowing from one side to another for this matchmaking service."

South Sea Bubble. Tulips from Amsterdam. Scottish attempts to set up a colony on America. Building the railways across the UK by subscription.

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Coat

Turkey has hinted it may try to leave NATO – which could cause difficulties for the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme because the country has signed up to buy 100 of the advanced jet fighters.

Turkey always threatens to leave NATO the year of a US Presidential election. They do this to pressure the U.S. President to send Turkey "aid" (bribes) to shut up so they do not make the present President's party look bad.

This will all go away in a few weeks when Barry buys $25 Billion of girl scout cookies from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's daughter.

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I'm sure Mr Putin

would offer some SU-35's to his pal Erdogan as a more than ample replacement

What then for the Turkish desire to be part of the EU? Probably accelerated by 5 years.

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Re: I'm sure Mr Putin

Actually the opposite. EU days fuck you and turkey becomes russias bitch. Things wont be too rosy for them then

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Re: I'm sure Mr Putin

turkey becomes russias

Why becomes?

Breakdown:

6Bn Tourist trade

Several Bn Energy dependency. While Turkey can get oil and gas from elsewhere (there were some interesting satellite photos of their southern border published this year), its only cheap and guaranteed supply is GasProm.

6Bn+ Trade and transport dependency - Turkey primary trading partners are Eu and Central Asian nations. No permits for trucks to traverse Russia to get there and back, no trade.

Various odds and sods - construction, etc.

Why do you think Erdogan went to Moscow. He could put on a brave face only for a limited amount of times. Vlad has always had him by the balls, it was only a matter of time for his mind and soul to follow.

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Re: I'm sure Mr Putin

Although I should care, the cost of the F-35 bothers me much less than the potential for Russia to have unfettered access to the Med. That is a game changer.

Of course it's baffled me for sometime why we're buying the F-35 rather than the F-18. But I'm off to feed the (cancelled) cats and set the (nonexistent) traps.

Wonder if you can launch a Hornet from a ski jump?

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cutting-edge Western jets?

I thought this article was about the F-35...

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Re: cutting-edge Western jets?

It's paper cuts form the stack of bills.

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If there's 3100 on order, 100 isn't such a big number. Surely an existing customer could bring forward its future orders, or buy a few extra at cost.

If it means keeping them out of the hands of Russia, it seems worth it.

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Erdögan's rhetoric is unseemly at best, but the US *is* harboring the head of a Scientology-meets-Opus-Dei cult that masterminded a failed coup attempt that killed hundreds in Turkey. It's as if the commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia unfettered while organizing a terror spree in London. The Turks' fury is somewhat understandable.

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Holmes

Oh yeah?

I haven't heard any confirmation that Erdogan's old pal Gulen was actually involved in anything, except the rantings of a quite obviously mentally unstable "president" of Turkey.

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Holmes

It's as if the commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia unfettered while organizing a terror spree in London.

I assume that you are too young to remember that there was indeed open support, and funding, of the IRA in the USA.

Back in the 80s, I once had an interesting conversation in a Covent Garden pub with a very nice Catholic girl from Boston, whose priest had openly told his flock to support the armed struggle against the British oppressors. I told her a few facts, and I shall never forget the look on her face when the penny dropped and she understood that at any second, without warning, we could get blown to pieces by her noble freedom fighters. One fewer IRA supporter after that!

(BTW, this isn't support of your belief that the coup in Turkey was organised by Gulen. I wouldn't trust anything that Erdogan says.)

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Back in the 80s, I once had an interesting conversation in a Covent Garden pub with a very nice Catholic girl from Boston, whose priest had openly told his flock to support the armed struggle against the British oppressors. I told her a few facts, and I shall never forget the look on her face when the penny dropped...

IIRC the penny really dropped in the wider US when 9/11 happened, and gave US citizens a less romantic view of what terrorism looked like.

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Anonymous Coward

He seems to have been Erdogan's best mate for a fair while but if you want to make comparisons with other things Trotsky (and Zinoviev) used to stand side-by-side with Stalin.

I also note that a certain web based encyclopaedia thingy says "Gülen has stated that he believes in science, interfaith dialogue among the People of the Book, and multi-party democracy" while it also says " key ideals of Erdoğanism include a religious inspired strong centralised leadership based primarily on electoral consent and less so on the separation of powers and institutional checks and balances."

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Anonymous Coward

A little bit of history worth repeating...

Do you remember an organisation called "Noraid?" Rich Americans sending money to the "brave freedom fighters" to blow up civilians as well as the evil oppressive forces of the UK...

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FAIL

> commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia

You do realise the irony of that statement don't you? The fact the the provos were largely funded by donations from people in the US for many years seems to have escaped you..

(Actually - replace 'Virginia' with 'New York' and you probably wouldn't be far off)

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Boffin

The US has freedom of speech enshrined in it's Constitution. It's a hard concept to grasp for those who live in authoritarian regimes.

Erdögan is the type that C.S. Lewis had in mind when he said, "Above all else, the Devil cannot stand to be mocked."

The US needs to really evaluate it's relationship with Turkey. Turkey was let into NATO in 1952 simply because the US wanted both listening posts and missiles stationed on the USSR's border. But Turkey has never dealt with the US in any manner other than duplicity. And Turkey has pretty much completely failed to live up to it's NATO obligations in the last decade & a half. The US has enough duplicitous "friends" in the Middle East, but those others don't have the access to the weapons & intelligence that Turkey does through NATO.

NATO should give Turkey the boot, as Turkey adds nothing to NATO at this point. And the US should leave NATO if the rest of the NATO members are not willing to give Turkey the boot. NATO needs the US a lot more than the US needs NATO.

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Boffin

Oh yeah?

The fact that the US has Rule of Law will be a huge source of frustration for Erdogan.

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Meh

Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

"....Turkey adds nothing to NATO....." Largely agree, but Turkey actually solves two NATO issues and helps with a third, as well as helping keep the Russian fleet contained (as mentioned in the article).

The first is the long-festering hatred between Greece and Turkey, which has threatened to explode into open warfare over the Aegean islands more than once. Greece has actually shot down Turkish jets whilst both were members of NATO! Being members of NATO has kept the matter from progressing too far, and a war between NATO Greece and a non-NATO Turkey would likely drag in Cyprus (involving the UK and EU) and reignite anti-Muslim sentiments in the former Yugoslavic countries, matters NATO would rather not explore.

The second is that Turkey's geographical location makes it very useful for basing forces for the Middle East. Turkish bases have hosted US jets and special forces during both the Gulf War and the Invasion of Iraq, and are currently being used for fighting Daesh in Syria and Iraq. It also acts as a staging post for flights out to Afghanistan. In a NATO shooting war with Russia it offers a nice starting point for destroying the Russian oil- and gas-fields in the Caspian and Black Seas and Tartarstan. Should NATO/UN action ever be launched against Iran it is also likely to be mounted in part from Turkish bases. NATO forces in Turkey threaten Russia with a three-front war.

The third is that predominantly-Muslim Turkish membership allows NATO to paint itself as not just white and Christian, which is very important to those politicians with their heads buried in the PC sand. In the Middle East, predominantly-Sunni Turkey does help in the balance of power with other Muslim countries like Russian-friendly Shia Iran, which is probably why the EU and US are not making too much noise over Erdogan's alleged human rights abuses and manipulation of the democratic system. At the same time, about 20% of Turks are Shias, which means there is plenty of scope for Iranian meddling. Russia also has history helping the terrorist PKK which Erdogan hates, and has cuddled up to the cash-strapped Greeks.

From a purely US-centric perspective, Turkey also has historically bought a lot of American military items, from tanks through jets to warships. Indeed, the sheer amount of American high-tech in the Turkish military would make it very difficult to integrate Russian systems into a future Turkish military. Which is reason why the idea that Erdogan will suddenly buy Russian is pretty unlikely.

So, IMHO, NATO and Turkey do need each other.

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Anonymous Coward

Right...

"Erdögan's rhetoric is unseemly at best, but the US *is* harboring the head of a Scientology-meets-Opus-Dei cult that masterminded a failed coup attempt that killed hundreds in Turkey. It's as if the commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia unfettered while organizing a terror spree in London. The Turks' fury is somewhat understandable."

Except that the Provisional IRA openly operated in Ireland, and claimed responsibilities for those violent actions. Gulen supporters said they are not involved with any violence in Turkey, and actively oppose violence. There is no evidence that Gulen supporters were involved. The only evidence that has been presented, is that Gulen supporters tend to be critics of the president. And now, that is enough to be arrested.

And as mentioned in the article, it is an open question if the coup was actually a coup, or just a marketing event.

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You do realise the irony of that statement don't you?

"The fact the the provos were largely funded by donations from people in the US for many years seems to have escaped you.."

Tchah! It's what people call "Special Relationship"!!! Having a special relationship means never having to say you're sorry when some of your citizens kill a member of the ruling family of your closest ally ... and narrowly miss killing the Prime Minister your President is so fond of!!! "Terrorism" is something only Arabs and Muslims do.Catholics and Protestants do something else - something to do with what's in the water, I think.

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Always liked that bit in Patriot Games when Jack Ryan tell the US based head of the IRA support that if he put his injured daughter on the US TV news, that support would dry up so fast, the boys back in Belfast would be throwing rocks by the end of the week. Or words to that effect.

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Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

"war between NATO Greece and a non-NATO Turkey would likely drag in Cyprus (involving the UK and EU) and reignite anti-Muslim sentiments in the former Yugoslavic countries, matters NATO would rather not explore."

One of the prime tenets of the NATO Articles of Treaty are than an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all of them, so unless Greece was the aggressor, a non-NATO Turkey would be on a hiding to nothing to try military engagement with Greece.

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It's as if the commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia

You are obviously too young to remember when it was not just the case, but when IRA ran fundraisers and young aspiring billioners (nowdays presidential candidates) with severe hair organization deficiencies were guests of honour - introduced by Gerry Adams himself.

Not particularly different from Chechen terrorists who had direct involvement with the Rostov-na-Don hijackings, Nord-Ost theatre incident and the Moscow metro bombings walking freely the streets of London by the way.

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NATO should give Turkey the boot, as Turkey adds nothing to NATO at this point.

The New and Improved Activist NATO needs War in order to appear relevant. The odds are good that a belligerent Turkey can manage to create yet another of those tribal messes that the NATO of today is so fond of being dragged into.

IOW - NATO likes what is sees in Turkey and want more of it.

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Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

And ... WHY do "we" need forces in the middle east? So far not one damn bit of good has come from it!!

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Evidence for that? And I'm not being sarcastic, just wondering if there is a shred of evidence for that other than Erdögan's say so?

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Re: A little bit of history worth repeating...

Do you remember an organisation called the UDR? Or the Glenanne gang? British state paid murderers blowing up, shooting, murdering and maiming innocent civilians. That gang were police and british army, the british "security" forces.

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Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

Umm, WTF?

Greece has never, ever shot down a Turkish fighter plane. Why on earth would they, when the Turkish army is slightly larger than the population of Greece?

In fact the Turkish Air Force violates Greek airspace between 5-10 per DAY, something which is acknowledged by NATO. There are regular requests by NATO to Turkey to stop this practice to which Turkey replies...nothing. Greece makes a point of chasing out the turkish jets without causing any incident, since the situation would escalate immediately to a potentially armed exchange if any planes were actually shot down.

Your comments indicate you lack any grasp of such issues whatsoever. Are you just pulling stuff out of your ar*e, or can you cite some reliable sources for this nonsense?

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Facepalm

Re: Dimitri Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

"....Greece has never, ever shot down a Turkish fighter plane...." Ahem, you might want to Yahoogle for the name Thanos Grivas, the Greek Mirage 2000 pilot who the Turks wanted to extradite after they allege he shot down a Turkish F-16D on 8th October 1996 with an R.550 AAM (and after which the Greeks posted pics of his jet with a Turkish "kill" painted on it).

".... Why on earth would they, when the Turkish army is slightly larger than the population of Greece?...." I suggest you go ask the Greeks, they have a revanchist chip on their shoulders when it comes to Turkey, dating back to the Ottoman era. Indeed, getting rid of that chip would also stop Greece spending a massive chunk of money on arms purchases when it is needed elsewhere in Greece.

"....Greece makes a point of chasing out the turkish jets without causing any incident....." Hmmm, the admitted score so far seems to be one Hellenic Air Force Mirage and two Turkish Air Force F-16s "crashing" as a result of those non-incidents, plus a collision between a Greek and a Turkish F-16s that caused both to crash.

".....There are regular requests by NATO to Turkey to stop this practice to which Turkey replies...nothing...." Turkey's reply is that they don't recognize the ten-mile exclusive airspace claimed by Greece on some of the Aegean Isles as it overlaps the international airspace between the Turkish coast and the islands. AFAIK, both sides have been happy to continue the macho posturing rather than seeking to address the matter at an international tribunal (there was an attempt at the ICJ in 1976 that failed, and this article has the legal points neatly outlined plus a complex possible solution). NATO doesn't have the legal powers to interfere. Interestingly, the Greeks do have something to gain by continuing the matter as territorial disputes are a means of blocking Turkey from joining the EU.

".....Your comments indicate you lack any grasp of such issues whatsoever...." I have worked and lived in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and I am very aware of the state of Greco-Turkish relations and their history, thanks.

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Meh

potentially hostile states learning more about the F-35 than we would like

Suspect these "potentially hostile states" already know everything there is to know about the F-35.

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Re: potentially hostile states learning more about the F-35 than we would like

I suspect that knowing precisely why a given machine doesn't work is of rather limited practical value.

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Devil

Re: potentially hostile states learning more about the F-35 than we would like

Au Contraire - Knowing,

1) why some technology cannot be made to work reliably, and

2) who is pursuing the failed approach / technology

Is of *enormous* commercial value, especially with technologies where the failure modes are subtle and emerge late in the project, preferably after shipping. Watching the competition pouring money and effort into the "should-improve-aany-day-now" rat-hole while you are quietly taking a different approach - and short their stock - is very satisfying.

Especially after having been on the other side of that equation before, working with increasing desperation on finding out *why* those damn HV-transistors are blowing up after some 1000's of hours operation when they ought get 50000 hours MTBF. Then presenting the gist of the project at a conference, leaving out the doesn't work for very long - part. ;-).

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Sorry, it was not clear from the article. Do we give Turkey the F35's to encourage them to stay with NATO or to encourage them to leave?

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Do we give Turkey the F35's to encourage them to stay with NATO or to encourage them to leave?

So we can shoot them down with F15s if the bastards turn on us.

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Joke

Re: Do we give Turkey the F35's to encourage them to stay with NATO or to encourage them to leave?

"So we can shoot them down with F15s if the bastards turn on us."

With WaaS (Warplanes as a Service), an F35 owning, non-NATO turkey might find that their F35s won't even start, never mind fly. Or have Teamview pre-installed so US cyberwarfare (or anyone who fancies a go) can take over remotely ;-)

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Re: Do we give Turkey the F35's to encourage them to stay with NATO or to encourage them to leave?

F35s wont need outside help to fail. They do that well enough themselves.

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figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

They're going to need a lot of leisure time, given they'll be too busy ROFLING when they see the clusterfuck of coding in it.

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Re: figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

They're going to need a lot of leisure time, given they'll be too busy ROFLING when they see the clusterfuck of coding in it.

They never will see the clusterfuck of coding, the US guards the technological assets of the F35 so jealously that you have to send the thing back to Lockheed Martin just to have its anti-virus software updated!

Actually looking at the code is verboten.

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Re: figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

I'm pretty sure that the Russians wouldn't be to phased at the prospect of breaching the licensing agreement though to be fair...

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Re: figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

you have to send the thing back to Lockheed Martin just to have its anti-virus software updated!

Erm... Anti-virus?!

Obligatory xkcd: https://xkcd.com/463/

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Re: figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

Bet there is a lot of black boxes filled with hard epoxy in those planes.

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Big Brother

Hillary's HITLER DETECTOR still hasn't twigged. The wench must be busy....

we have not seen an indication [the coup] will affect our business

I'm totally sure Erdogan's coup won't affect business. Totally.

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Failed coup?

Whoever was involved in organising part 1 of the coup, it clearly failed badly. Part 2, organised by the goat-botherer-in-chief has been a terrific success. And the locals seem to be lapping it up. Very strange.

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Re: Failed coup?

He seems to be playing both ends against each other. Selling oil for one side, providing bases, etc. for the other. If does it well, he might just survive... but it is a very dangerous game for him to play.

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