In a briefing on July 7, Bayar acknowledged a dispute between Ankara and
Washington over JSF, Middle East Newsline reported. The defense official suggested that they included
price, coproduction and technology transfer, particularly access to the
aircraft's source code.
"We will have talks [with the Americans] in the months ahead in an
effort to resolve some matters," Bayar said.
Turkey has been designated a Level 3 partner of JSF and sought the
fighter to replace the aging F-4 and F-5 fleet. But Ankara as well as other
non-U.S. JSF partners have refrained from submitting a formal order amid
significant delays in the aircraft project.
Officials said the Erdogan government has been concerned that it could
not afford a major JSF purchase. They said the price of the aircraft has
risen by more than 20 percent over the last two years.
Another issue has been Turkey's demand to expand its share of JSF
production. Officials said Turkey wants to increase JSF coproduction from
nearly $5 billion to at least $6 billion over the next two years.
In the briefing, Bayar did not rule out that Turkey would delay its
first order of six F-35s, meant for delivery around 2015. He raised concerns
of a budget shortfall.
"If we don't place the first purchase order by the year end, it would
not necessarily mean that we have failed to agree," Bayar said. "It may mean
that we, at this point, may not have the finances."