Senator Lankford Applauds NDAA Provision To Stop Transfer of Fighter Aircraft To Turkey

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) for securing a provision in the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan to Congress to remove Turkey from participation in the F-35 program. This provision is similar to a standalone bill introduced by Lankford, Shaheen, and Tillis last month. Under the US-led, multinational Joint Strike Fighter program, Turkey was expected to purchase more than 100 aircraft. 

“I applaud the tireless work and partnership of Senators Shaheen and Tillis to secure this NDAA provision to block fighter aircraft technology to Turkey. President Erdogan’s human rights violations, including the unjust imprisonment of Dr. Brunson, have shown the world that Turkey has dramatically changed. Turkey’s actions make the transfer of sensitive F-35 technology and cutting-edge capabilities to Erdogan’s regime increasingly risky, therefore, we should block it.”

On April 19, Lankford and Shaheen announced their decision to pursue targeted sanctions against Turkish officials in this year’s Fiscal Year 2019 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs spending bill. On April 20, Tillis and Shaheen led a 66 Member letter to the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, demanding the release of Andrew Brunson.