The US has suspended the participation of its NATO ally Turkey in the F-35 fighter jet program and has halted the delivery of the jets to the country since Ankara has decided to buy the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defense systems.
Turkey’s Foreign Minster Mevlut Cavusoglu met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov last week, giving a go ahead to the S-400 purchase.
“The US has been clear that Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 is unacceptable. Should Turkey procure the S-400, their continued participation in the F-35 program is at risk,” said Acting Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Charles Summers Jr.
A decision to drop Turkey from the F-35 program would have broad repercussions, since Ankara helps manufacture parts for the aircraft, including components of the landing gear, cockpit displays and aircraft engines. The plane’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, said that contracts with Turkish companies to build F-35 parts had been expected to reach $12 billion, media reports said.
When US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was asked whether America wanted Turkey to be a part of F-35 program last week, he said, "We absolutely do; we need Turkey to buy the Patriot."
America had been trying to persuade Turkey to buy Raytheon’s Patriot defense system and drop the idea of purchasing the Russian systems. According to the US, it would be compromising the security of Lockheed Martin aircraft if Turkey has both, the American jet and Russian missile defense system.
Turkey has proposed to the US that they form a working group to determine that Russian S-400 missile defense systems do not pose a threat to US or NATO military equipment, Reuters quoted Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying Wednesday.
"It will not be integrated into the NATO system...therefore we propose the United States to establish a technical working group to make sure that this system will not be a threat - neither to (US) F-35s nor the NATO systems," Cavusoglu told a panel in the US.
Apart from dropping Turkey from the program and stopping the supply of the jets, the US had threatened to impose sanctions. It was also checking if there was an alternative to the F-35 engine overhaul depot somewhere in Europe, that is currently based in Eskisehir, Turkey.
But Turkey has remained unfazed in the face of threats from Washington. It will become the first NATO member to acquire the system.
"Turkey will not go back on the purchase of the S-400 systems from Russia, regardless of what the US says," Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey said late March.
The United States is working with India to offer an alternative to the Russian S-400 Triumf missile defence system, but it ruled out the possibility of the country punishing India if it chooses the Russian systems, Assistant Defence Secretary Randall Schriver said Wednesday. "I think it would be an unfortunate decision if they chose to pursue that", he told the House of Representatives Armed Forces Committee in Washington during a hearing on US Military Activities in Indo-Pacific region
Turkey will begin deploying S-400 anti-aircraft missile defense systems procured from Russia in October this year, Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar said. Turkey is acquiring S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia because of the urgent need to ensure the country's security
The United States has threatened to cancel Turkeys participation in the F-35 fighter jet program and also impose sanctions on it if Ankara persists on its planned purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems. “Weve long made it clear we would like to work collaboratively on air and missile defense with Turkey, and we have offered opportunities for Turkey to consider Patriot among other systems over the years
Swedish Defense Research Agency, FOI in its recent report states that the range of the Russian S-400 Triumf air defence system and its capability to counter counter-measures is overrated. According to the report, “Bursting the Bubble? Russia´s A2AD-Capabilities in the Baltic Sea Region”, published on Monday, FOI states that the actual range of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system, which is promoted as having a range of 400 kilometres, is actually 150-200 kilometres, the
An air-to-surface cruise missile developed for the F-35 fighter jet could be used with Turkey's national combat aircraft and attack UAVs, besides offered to countries which are part of the F-35 program. Turkeys industry and technology minister, Mustafa Varank said on Saturday that the SOM-J cruise missile jointly developed by the US and Turkey, will be deployed on local air assets following Ankaras ouster from the F-35 program
Lockheed Martin is working on achieving a $25,000 Cost per Flight Hour (CPFH) for its F-35 joint strike fighter by 2025. The CPHF target is comparable to the cost to sustain legacy aircraft, while providing a generational leap in capability; a Lockheed Martin release said adding that the target will be deliver 80 percent mission capable rates in the near term
Turkey can produce components for the Russian S-400 missile defense systems, Russia's Presidential spokesperson said Thursday. "We are not talking about the complete production chain, as it is a new type of weapon
Turkey may order another set of S-400 air defence systems from Russia if the United States refuses to supply Patriot air defense system to Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told NTV channel on Wednesday. "If the US does not want to sell Patriot to us, tomorrow we may buy another S-400 system and we also can purchase other air defense systems," Cavusoglu said adding that a proposal made to the US on setting up a technical working group to iron out differences over the S-400 had not received any response, he noted
Rate of production of F-35 fighters will be slowed down if the United States (US) drops its NATO-ally Turkey from the F-35 programme, Vice Admiral Mathias Winter told Congress Thursday. “The evaluation of stopping Turkey would be between 50- and 75-airplane impact over a two-year period,” Winter said
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