The U.S. Air Force will officially buy eight F-35A conventional takeoff and landing jets originally built by Lockheed Martin for Turkey as part of a $862 million contract modification. After the fall of the Soviet Union the Turkish Army downsized, shrinking from approximately 370,000 to 260,000 while shifting to an entirely mechanized force. And that doesn't count the priceless experience of a veteran pilot who has been flying for years. The main perpetrators are believed to have been from the Turkish Air Force after they unsuccessfully tried to launch a coup. It’s official: US Air Force to buy Turkish F-35s By: Valerie Insinna July 20 A mock-up of the F-35 cockpit is on display at an air show in Cigli, Turkey. Related Article  Incirlik Air Base has been jointly operated by the U.S and Turkish Air Force for decades and it has been an important base for U.S operations in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Air Force will officially buy eight F-35A conventional takeoff and landing jets originally built by Lockheed Martin for Turkey as part of a $862 million contract modification than also contains an additional six F-35As built for The contract modification uses funding from the FY20 budget to pay for the Lot 14 jets. Since the 2016 coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Air Force has been severely crippled. The deal does not include jets already delivered to Turkey, though they remain on U.S. soil. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief, the defense industry's most comprehensive news and information, straight to your inbox. Already deprived of the fifth-generation F-35, new sanctions imposed by the United States could have more profound consequences for the Turkish Air Force. The Pentagon announced Friday that Turkey has until July 31 to reach a mutual agreement with the US over the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense, otherwise the US will block Turkey from purchasing the F-35 fighter jet and cease the training of its pilots. Also, on July 31, Turkish Air Force personnel will no longer be permitted to enter facilities belonging to the F-35 Joint Program Office. In February 2019, NATO asked Belgium to buy an extra 14 F-35 fighter jets on top of the 34 units ordered to carry on a larger number of missions but Defense minister Philippe Goffin replied that no budget for additional aircraft was available (no change since then, even to expect). In the FY20 version of the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress gave the Pentagon permission to spend up to $30 million to fly the first six Turkish F-35s to a location where they could be stored and preserved until the department came up with a plan for their use. According to the U.S. Air Force estimates, training a new pilot to fly a plane like the F-35 costs $11 million, while the years of experience of a veteran pilot is priceless, he said. Through the official Defense Department’s daily contract announcements, it was confirmed that the United States Air Force will purchase eight F-35A conventional takeoffs and landing aircraft from Turkey. - Photo taken at Fort Worth - NAS JRB / Carswell Field (AFB) (FWH / NFW) in Texas, USA on March 13, 2019. Forget F-35s: Turkey's Air Force Has a Big Problem A nation that throws its fighter pilots in jail is not just wasting money, but also an extremely valuable resource. F-16 F-16C F-35 F-35A French Arms Exports Greek Air Force Greek Military Greek Military Modernisation Nejat Eslen Rafale Russian Arms Exports S-400 Su-35 Su-57 Turkish Air Force Turkish Military Turkish Military News is emerging of the immediate arrival and inclusion of six F-35 fighters in the arsenal of the Greek Air Force. The U.S. Air Force is officially purchasing eight F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter jets that were initially intended for Turkey prior to its removal from the joint strike fighter program. A defense official told Defense News on Tuesday that the contract modification fulfills stipulations in Congress’ fiscal year 2020 defense policy and spending bills. That's why the U.S. Air Force is willing to offer half-million-dollar bonuses to retain experienced fighter pilots. Two further aircraft are expected to be delivered to Luke in November, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported . The six other F-35As reflect aircraft added to the FY20 defense budget. F-35 Aircraft Database Turkish Air Force F-35s [Back to F-35 Aircraft Database menu | Missing Photos | Hall of Fame] Found 14 aircraft, displaying 1-14 [Sorted by USAF FY/n] Aircraft T/V Local S/N AF/Unit Version Date Status Details; 15-5219 Diyarbakir AB was the last to convert to the block 40 version since Turkish orders for new F-16s in later acquisitions were of the block 50 version. List of active aircraft used by the Turkish Air Force. Turkish Air Force F-35 #4 returns to NAS Ft. Worth during a test flight... - Photo taken at Fort Worth - NAS JRB / Carswell Field (AFB) (FWH / NFW) in Texas, USA on March 25, 2019. Since then, the fate of Turkey’s jets had been an open question. JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images, warned Turkey that it would not be allowed to acquire. Aware that the Turkish pilots at Luke AFB are not flying Mack steps... That he plans to address the issue during a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Wednesday in! 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