Pentagon suspends F-35 deal with Turkey
US announced that it has suspended "deliveries and activities" related to Turkey's procurement of the F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter jet over Ankara's plans to buy Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
TURKEY HAD SIGNED A DEAL WITH RUSSIA
"We very much regret the current situation facing our F-35 partnership with Turkey, and the DoD is taking prudent steps to protect the shared investments made in our critical technology," Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers said in a statement, referring to the Department of Defense. "Should Turkey procure the S-400, their continued participation in the F-35 program is at risk."
Following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the US with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to purchase the Russian S-400 air defense system. Ankara is also planning to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. and its pilots are currently training on the weapons platform at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
TWO JETS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DELIVERED
Washington has long cautioned Turkey against the purchase of the S-400, warning it might be used to covertly obtain critical information on the F-35, including their detection range, which could then be relayed to Russia.
Two F-35s have already been delivered to Turkey and are currently at Luke Air Force Base. These jets were scheduled to be transferred in November this year. Two more jets are expected to be delivered soon.