The newly inaugurated Kale Pratt & Whitney will produce engine parts for the F-35. (Airman 1st Class Jason Couillard/US Air Force)
ANKARA — US Engine maker Pratt & Whitney inaugurated its Turkish partnership with local aviation company Kale to produce critical engine parts for the F-35 fighter.
Called Kale Pratt & Whitney, the joint venture will manufacture parts of the F-135, the engine for the F-35, at a plant in Izmir on Turkey’s Aegean coast.
The Friday ceremony was attended by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci.
Pratt & Whitney has a 51 percent share in the joint venture while the Turkish company holds the remaining 49 percent, company officials said.
The $75 million investment will employ an initial 700 workers.
“We are not opening an ordinary industrial plant,” Gul said. “We are talking about a manufacturing facility and production with very delicate standards that passed all safety tests.”
Pratt & Whitney Military Engines Group head Bennett Croswell said the US company was “pleased to find a business partner that can provide high-quality parts at a reasonable cost. This investment fits to our global vision and growth strategy.”
Turkey has been one of the nine partners of the Joint Strike Fighter program since 1999 and has taken part in different stages of the project.
On May 5, Turkey placed an order for the first two F-35 jets of a planned fleet of 100.
“I believe this facility will grow, the number of parts produced here will increase and they will be used for the planes that Turkey will design and manufacture by itself, as well as other vehicles that include high technology,” Gul said.