July 18, 2019 / 11:13 AM / a month ago

Turkey says defence firms face temporary losses after F-35 removal

ANKARA, July 18 (Reuters) - Turkish defence companies may face temporary losses after a U.S. decision to remove Ankara from the F-35 fighter jet programme but the industry will emerge stronger as a result, the head of Turkey's Defence Industry Directorate said on Thursday.

On Wednesday the United States said it was removing Turkey from the F-35 jet programme over its purchase of Russian S-400 defence systems. Turkey had ordered more than 100 of the stealth fighters and its defence companies were also involved in building the jets.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Ismail Demir said Turkish companies would evaluate how to compensate for their losses from Turkey's removal, but added that other countries involved in the F-35 programme would face an additional cost of $7-8 million per jet as a result of the move.

He also said Turkey would not purchase foreign defence equipment from now on unless it was absolutely necessary, but did not elaborate further. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu)

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