File photo of an F-35 fighter jet
Source: Press TV
Turkey's government says it plans to purchase two F-35 fighter jets and 15 helicopters from the United States.
The announcement came on Thursday after a key meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish defense authorities said they decided to order two F-35 Lightening II jets (formerly known as Joint Strike Fighter) as part of a larger previous plan to purchase 100 jets to replace the country's F-4 and F-16 fleet.
However, the acquisition of the total order has been hampered by increasing costs. The price of each plane is well over 100 million dollars.
The hi-tech fighter jets, manufactured by the US Lockheed Martin Company, are reportedly the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program ever.
Turkey's decision to place the order for the warplanes comes at a time when several other countries, including Denmark, Holland and Canada, have suspended their orders for the jets.
The government also said it will also enter into negotiations with Bell Helicopter Textron for the purchase of 15 helicopters for the country's police forces.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program is an internationally oriented program consisting of partnerships with a number of countries, including United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway.