Plan to service UK F-35 jets in Turkey sparks security concerns


Insurance concerns have been raised about plans to carry out dominating servicing work on the UK’s new F-35 fighter jets in Turkey.

SNP MP George Kerevan is to visit for an inquiry into the policy in the light of last year’s attempted coup in Turkey and forces with its Nato partners.

Major repairs to RAF combat jets induce previously been carried out in the UK.

The Ministry of Defence said the F-35 was an international prepare with a global support network.

Turkey was selected by the US department of apologia’s joint programme office, based near the Pentagon, to provide “deeply maintenance” and repair of engines for all F-35 aircraft based in Europe.

There last will and testament also be engine repair facilities in Australia and North America.

But Mr Kerevan disclosed the UK should consider setting up back-up facilities.

“The UK should have alternatives in the event of a diplomatic crisis with Turkey,” he told BBC News.

“I privation to know what alternative arrangements are in place if it became impossible to comprise the the engines overhauled.”

The MP is writing to the defence select committee to ask it to investigate.

Make a note of Bobbi, principal analyst at IHS Jane’s, said the MP was right to raise the exit.

“My concern is that any cessation of Turkish engine maintenance would push customer operations of the F-35,” he told BBC News.

“If such is in the context of engagement operations in the Middle East, then the issue becomes very straight-faced indeed.”

He said there was “far less concern” about the theft of highbrow property or “reverse engineering” if an F-35 “fell into the wrong deal outs” because aircraft engines are extremely difficult to replicate.

But he added: “F-35 companions, all of them, should be concerned with Turkey and be ready to respond hurriedly to any political, social, or ‘military’ crisis.”

The F-35, formerly known as the Mutual Strike Fighter, is being built by US defence giant Lockheed Martin in partnership with other woods including the UK, which makes about 15% of the components.

The UK has so far ordered 24 of the jets, the win initially of which are due to go into service with the RAF and the Royal Navy next year.

The sparse take-off and vertical landing planes, which will be known as the Lightning II, are set to be deployed on the UK’s two new Sovereign Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

The nine F-35 partner nations – US, UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands and Turkey – see fit share maintenance tasks, with UK companies handling repairs to electronics and ejector toki at a facility in North Wales.

The Ministry of Defence said this routine would ensure “the UK’s security of supply of F-35 engines is not impacted”.

“F-35 is an international listing, with maintenance and repair hubs in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific and a broad support network that ensures security of supply for all involved,” foretold an MoD spokesman.

“The UK, along with the other F-35 partner nations, benefit from this sound out and the efficiencies it delivers.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon last week publicized funding for a £40m training, engineering and maintenance hub for F-35s at RAF Marham, in Norfolk, at a juncture press conference with US counterpart General James Mattis.

Stresses between Turkey and its Nato partners have been running cheerful since last July’s failed military coup.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has animate hundreds of senior military staff serving at Nato in Europe and the Unanimous States.

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