Could Honeywell’s Plan to Produce F-35 Parts in Turkey Backfire Amid Political Turmoil?

By Marc Selinger | June 19, 2018
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(Lockheed Martin)

Honeywell, which makes brake components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in South Bend, Ind., plans to move that work to Turkey this summer, drawing criticism from the state’s senior U.S. senator.

Democrat Joe Donnelly said on the Senate floor late June 13 that if U.S.-Turkish relations continue to deteriorate, he is concerned the United States could lose access to those parts.

“While Turkey is a member of NATO, it is on a concerning path of crumbling democratic norms, and it’s in the process of purchasing” the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system from Russia, Donnelly said. “That’s not the kind of place where we should be manufacturing critical components for one of the most advanced warfighting machines in our arsenal, particularly when we have trained, experienced, talented, patriotic, devoted American workers in South Bend, Indiana, who want to continue doing this work.”

Donnelly, who spoke during Senate deliberations on the fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill, said the Honeywell situation underscores the need for a provision that would require the Department of Defense to examine Turkey’s role in the F-35 supply chain to ensure key manufacturing capabilities are not sent there. He pushed for the provision when the Senate Armed Services Committee was drafting the bill.

“We don’t currently know what future threats to our supply chain will emerge,” Donnelly said. “This Congress and the American people should know the answers to those questions.”


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