1) Turkey to begin assembling Joint Strike Fighter components in 2012ANKARA -- Turkey has been preparing to produce and assemble components for the Joint Strike Fighter in the so-called Aegean Free Zone.
Officials said the Defense Ministry has overseen partnerships between Lockheed Martin and subcontractors with Turkish defense companies. They said the partnerships envisioned JSF production along the Turkish coast.
"The production may begin in 2012," Osman Okyay, chief executive officer of Kale Teknik and Kimya, said.
The state-owned Turkish Aerospace Industries has been producing fuselage mid-sections for Lockheed Martin subcontractor Northrop Grumman. Under their partnership, up to 400 fuselage sections could be produced and assembled for both Turkish and other international sales of JSF.
Pratt & Whitney has also been working with Turkey's Kale Aviation for the production of JSF engine components. Executives said the two companies have prepared a facility in the Aegean Free Zone to produce 300 components of the F-35 engine.
"The whole production will be exported," Okyay said. "Engine components produced in this facility will be sent to Pratt & Whitney. We aim to increase the turnover to between $200 million and $300 million after five years."
The engine assembly facility was scheduled for a cornerstone ceremony on Oct. 29. Executives said the facility would be completed by October 2011, with production to begin in 2012.
"With this investment, the Turkish industry will gain new capabilities in several fields, such as titanium hot forming," Okyay said.
A Turkish subsidiary, Fokker Elmo, contracted to produce the wiring system for JSF, has sought to begin operations in Turkey. Fokker has been partnered with Boeing and EADS to establish a facility in Turkey with a one million euro investment.
The F-35 is, now that the F-22 was cancelled at 187 aircraft (170 operational fighters) supposed to provide air superiority for the next 40 years (as the F-16 did). Of course it is about 25-30% over budget, years behind and having its numbers cut by Pelosi by 25% already.
2) Turkey demands NATO drop any reference to Iran as missile threat
"The missile shield is a defense system, so it can't target any country."
Task: Turkish Defense Minister
ANKARA -- Turkey is pressing NATO not to categorize its allies as ballistic missile threats.
Officials said the Turkish Foreign Ministry has demanded that NATO remove any reference to Iran and Syria as threats. They said Ankara's demand was part of Turkey's condition to host a U.S.-origin missile defense network.
"This is not a reservation, but conditions required for negotiations," Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said.
In a briefing on Oct. 15, Gonul said Turkey had not ruled out the hosting of a NATO missile defense shield. The United States has appealed for the shield to protect against medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles from Iran and Syria.
"We are negotiating the terms of it, and naturally the sides are presenting their opinions," Gonul said.
Turkey said it did not want the NATO missile defense shield to garner the enmity of its neighbors. As a result, Ankara was said to have demanded the removal of Iran and Syria as missile threats to NATO members.
Officials cited additional Turkish modifications to the NATO missile defense plan, relayed during a meeting of defense and foreign ministers by members of the Western alliance. They said the missile defense network must cover all NATO allies, including Turkey in its entirety.
On Nov. 19, NATO was expected to approve the missile defense shield during its summit in Brussels. Officials said the technical details of the agreement have not been completed.
For his part, Gonul said Ankara has been examining the interoperability of any NATO missile defense shield with Turkey's own network. He said the Defense Ministry was studying how the NATO shield would affect Turkey's own missile defense plans.
"The missile shield is a defense system, so it can't target any country," Gonul said.
Report: Turkish intelligence severed relations with the Mossad -Haaretz
Turkish newspaper reports agencies stopped exchanging intelligence and conducting joint operations following Turkish government decision.By Zvi Bar'el and Barak Ravid
Amid the strained relations between Ankara and Jerusalem, Turkish intelligence has severed its working relations with the Mossad, the Turkish newspaper Sabah reported on Monday.
The report stated that the two agencies, which once enjoyed tight cooperation, had stopped exchanging intelligence and conducting joint operations following a Turkish government decision on the matter.The report's credibility remains unclear, but high-ranking Israeli officials privy to the matter neither confirmed nor denied it on Monday, and the prime minister's bureau declined to comment.
In June, Amir Oren reported in Haaretz that Israeli security officials were deeply concerned by the appointment of Hakan Fidan to lead Turkey's National Intelligence Organization. Fidan, a close associate of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is viewed as a proponent of closer relations between Turkey and Iran.
Meanwhile, Turkey has conditioned its consent to stationing a NATO missile-defense system on its territory on a guarantee that no information collected by the system be transferred to Israel.
Since the American-sponsored plan's original purpose was to defend NATO countries against the possibility of an Iranian attack, this means Turkey is essentially demanding that Israel not be given vital information about Iranian missiles.
The previous U.S. administration had planned to station the system in eastern Europe. But due to fierce opposition from Russia, the Obama administration decided to relocate and scale back the system, which will now focus mainly on deterrence and on monitoring Iran's missile program.
Turkey was initially reluctant to host the system at all, lest it damage Ankara's relationship with Tehran. But since it is a NATO member, and since it faces growing criticism in the United States for its seeming turn away from the West, it said it would agree under certain conditions.