Turkey is upping its initial F-35 buy from two airframes to six, the country’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced earlier this week. “It is planned that Turkey will buy 100 F-35 warplanes in the project,” Davatoglu said, quoted by Reuters on Jan. 7. “We previously ordered two in this framework. We have now decided to order four more,” he said following a defense procurement meeting on Wednesday. The Turkish air force’s first batch of F-35As were planned as part of low-rate initial production Lot 10, which would be delivered in 2015. Turkey is one of the nine Joint Strike Fighter program partners, and was recently designated the European-region’s heavy engine maintenance pole for multi-national F-35 operators, including the Air Force. Turkey’s planned F-35A buy is estimated to be approximately a $16 billion investment.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.