Russia is ‘ready’ to step in with its Su-57 stealth fighter jet if the United States ends its cooperation with Ankara on the F-35 project.
Sergey Chemezov, Chief of Russia’s arms holding company, Rostec said in an interview to Anadolu Agency that in addition to the S-500 offer, his country was ready to include Turkey as a partner in the development of the S-500 air defence system, the next generation of the S-400 which Turkey had purchased and was facing pressure from the US to abandon the deal.
Regarding delivery of the S-400 he told "We signed the contract for the S-400s in 2017, and before the end of this year, we plan to conclude all deliveries."
Lauding the NATO-member country for its development of defense hardware, and talking about Russia’s interest of supporting the industry, Chemezov said, “Turkey is highly competent in producing rifle armaments, armored vehicles and drones. We are ready to support Turkey’s desire to develop its own defense industry.”
Meanwhile, US authorities have warned Ankara that it cannot have both F-35 stealth warplanes and S-400 anti-air weapon systems.
During his testimony in front of the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee on 1 May, US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has confirmed that Turkey won’t be able to get its hands on F-35 stealth aircraft if it proceeds with its intended purchase of Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.
"I think there’s very little possibility that they have a misunderstanding," Shanahan said when Rep. Diaz-Balart inquired whether this message has been sent to Ankara "clear enough", and if there’s any chance that Turkish government hasn’t understood the message.