The US Air Force will be taking over the batch of F-35A aircraft destined for Turkey, which was removed from the program due to the acquisition of Russian S-400 air-defense systems.
The Pentagon confirmed this in a July 20 contract announcement that saw Lockheed Martin receive an $861.7 million modification for the purchase of eight Lot 14 F-35A aircraft that were built for the Republic of Turkey.
The contract also includes six Lot 14 F-35A aircraft and provides funding for the modification of the eight Lot 14 F-35A repositioned aircraft to a full operationally capable F-35A Air Force configuration.
Turkey was a partner in the F-35 program and was expected to buy 100 aircraft before it was removed from the program in July 2019 following repeated warnings from the US not to buy Russian S-400 systems. It is unclear how many F-35A aircraft had been built for Turkey before it was removed from the program.