ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey has given its defense ministry the mandate to buy a further 24 Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft, Defence Minister Fikri Isik said in an interview with broadcaster A Haber on Tuesday.


The Undersecretariat for Defence Industries said last week that Turkey had decided to order a second batch of the aircraft. Two U.S. officials familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity, had told Reuters that would comprise 24 jets.


Turkey expects to take delivery of the first batch of Lockheed Martin F-35A jets in 2018.


(Reporting by Can Sezer; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Nick Tattersall)