No-Time: Türkiye Built F-35

On 14 December 2020, America imposed sanctions on Türkiye. The decision removed the NATO ally from the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter partnership. I had then posed the question to the US Senators who approved the bill called CAATSA 231: What were they thinking? Justifiably because, ever since, in no-time: Türkiye built the F-35 of its own, from start.

In No-Time: Türkiye Built F-35

On 18 March 2023, the Turkish built F-35 will come out of the hangar, with a roaring engine. Two things have to be clarified before going further. One, the Turkish F-35 has nothing to do with the American built F-35. Two, the formidable mock up of the Turkish F-35 was on display for the first time in 2019 in Paris Air Show. Now, it looks like it was a junior version of what Turkiye had in mind.

So, within six years, this monster of an aircraft will be in the air. The development of the American built F-35 began in 2000. 23 years later, it still has tons of problems. As a result, instead of thousands of them, only a few hundred have been built so far and half are operational. However, manufacturing an American F-35 is not the only problem America is having.

At this stage it is a helpless aircraft. First, no one can exactly determine what the problem is because it has more than one. Second, maintenance is prohibitively expensive. Third, it depends on better, cheaper, and exclusively Turkish developed and produced key parts.

As a result, American built F-35, dependent on the competition, and more expensive, will not fly. Worse than that, the Turkish version will also be able “to see without being seen” and “to hit without being hit“. In other words, it will have new technologies that would have made the American F-35 obsolete anyway.

US Senators

What Were They Thinking?

So, it is worth repeating the same question one last time because the US senators should have known better: What were they thinking exactly when they passed CAATSA 231 in December 2020?

How couldn’t they have thought that kicking Turkiye out of the program would have such consequences?  The US senators must have vision and wisdom to deserve their esteem posts.

Unfortunately, this is an open and shut case, they do not have what it takes.

In No-Time: Türkiye Built F-35

Not One But Three versions

Meanwhile, look at the vision and the wisdom of the derided.

The Turkish built F-35 is configured to fly in tandem with the Turkish built unmanned aircrafts. Reportedly, there will be two different versions of them in the wings. A pilot will command five aircrafts in flight.

One of these unmanned, sixth generation aircrafts, has already made its maiden flight on 14 December 2022. Baykar, the manufacturer, made sure that the launching date coincided with the second year anniversary of the CAATSA 231 sanctions. Soon, what is called Kizilelma will also fly at supersonic speed. Plus, with 5G maneuvers, no opposing aircraft will be able to match the agility and to avoid getting shot down.

The other is built by TUSAS, the same manufacturer that built the Turkish F-35. The features of this unmanned aircraft are not unveiled yet. However, it is expected to do the heavy lifting as far as bombardment.

More Advanced Than America’s F-35

Considering each one of these behemoths will carry at least what an American F-35 carries is an additional problem. The other problem is that the Turkish built SOM-J type superior missiles will only be available for the Turkish aircrafts. The American F-35 will have to settle for the second best.

Additional surprises are sure to come during the unveiling in terms of longer range radars and stealth capabilities. Nevertheless, one particular aspect of the Turkish built F-35 was on display during a brief photo-op. The Turkish version was a lot bigger than the American built F-35, maybe twice as big!  Imagine the capacity and capabilities with increased size!

More Advanced Than America’s F-22

Simply put, the Turkish built F-35 will not make the American built F-35 kaput but it will also make the American F-22, initially, a very vulnerable aircraft. Though, the Raptor is the best fighter aircraft in the world today, thanks to the brilliant US senators that won’t last long. The Turkish built F-35 will surely be aiming for air superiority with one of its ensuing four versions if not with this early version already.

In that regard, reportedly, the Turkish F-35 would be a part of an ecosystem. In other words, it will not only be an aircraft that is solely focused to put the American F-35 out of its misery. Rather, it will be a well fortified command center in the air. While the killer, supersonic, and unmanned wings are doing the dirty jobs, the pilot will be commanding them from a comfort zone.

At the disposal, there will also be tons of “Kuzgun” like new generation intelligent missiles and electronic warfare toys. In short, an F-22 Raptor will surely look like a single soldier trying to fend off a battalion. On another note, reports so far indicate that the F-22 Raptor will never have a chance to see who is commanding the battalion itself. It will be shut down long before.

In No Time: Türkiye Built F-35

What Were the US Senators Thinking?

The brilliant US senators not only approved CAATSA 231 in December 2020 but also nonsensically antagonized Ismail Demir. They put him in their crosshair. Demir, in turn, shrugged them off. Now, he is walking tall with his soon to be justified bravado statement. “We will see without being seen and hit without being hit. They will see who has the power when the time comes.” 

By the end of 2020, Turkiye had already demonstrated where it is heading in the air supremacy in the world. The US senators clearly were full of themselves and did not pay enough attention to the progress Turkiye was making. At least, their advisors should have known better. Alas!

In fact, there were plenty of signs in Syria, Libya, eastern Mediterranean Sea, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Ethiopia. There, Turkish air superiority manhandled Russia and France. On top, Turkiye did the unimaginable with the first generation drones, like TB-2 and ANKA.

Now, with Turkish built fighters no one can tell what kind of hegemony Turkiye will build in the region and beyond. As a result, at this stage, it is not even worth denigrating the US senators for their ineptitude. Having botched a trillion dollar project is the least of their embarrassments.



If only these senators had read my book GameChanger, and preferably also understood the content, published in 2020. They would have seen the light much like Donald J. Trump did. The 45th President was in office. He immediately came back next to me and pointed at what he noticed overnight in the book. A few thousand, some with equally big global name recognition, also concurred with the same overtime. Unfortunately, there were not enough US senators among them.

Ataturk & F-35,


One final note. I did not quote the founding father of Turkiye, Ataturk, in the GameChanger, saying: “The future is in the skies.” Instead, I made a point, saying: “if the US does not collaborate with Turkiye, it will not last as the sole superpower of the world for a decade.” This Turkish F-35, in that regard, also fulfills his wishes. The fact that it comes on the centennial of the republic he founded is also noteworthy.

US Senators

No Need To Be Too Harsh On Them

These US senators had all the warnings before them: What were they thinking? They must have been blind or brain dead, a wise person would surely say in Turkiye at this time. On second thought, please read “Kubali Bacanaklar: Menendez and Rubio” to get the dilemma of the most desperate, unfortunate, or challenged. You decide!