The first F-35A Lightning II for the Turkish Air Force made its maiden flight on May 10. F-35A AT-01 (serial 18-0001) flew from Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility.
Turkey has 100 F-35As on order, however recent pressure has seen a group of US senators introducing a bill to try to prevent the transfer of the F-35A to Turkey over concerns that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s strategic decisions have not been in US interests.
The first aircraft is from a batch of 14 that are on contract, with deliveries scheduled to begin later this year. By 2022, Turkey should have 22 F-35As.