United States removes Turkey from F-35 fighter jet programme

No F-35 Fighter Jets For Turkey, White House Says In Rebuke Over Russian Missiles

U.S. kicks NATO ally Turkey out of fighter jet program for buying Russian defence system

"I've had a good relationship with President Erdogan...he wanted to buy our patriot missile, we wouldn't sell it...and when he made a deal with another country, Russia, to buy this system that he didn't even want...all of a sudden we say "okay, we'll now sell you the patriot"...and because of the fact he bought a Russian missile, we're not allowed to sell him billions of dollars worth of aircraft - it's not a fair situation", the president explained.

Military vehicles and equipment, parts of the S-400 air defense systems, are unloaded from a Russian transport aircraft at Murted military airport in Ankara, Turkey, July 12, 2019.

The US says the "F-35 can not coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities".

In a written statement released Wednesday, the White House said that Turkey's decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defence system "renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible". Turkey was a financial contributor to the F-35 development program and already had pilots in the USA in training to fly the aircraft; those pilots were kicked off United States training bases in June.

"As Nato allies, our relationship is multi-layered, and not exclusively focused on the F-35", she said. If Turkey is removed, as expected, the US will have to find alternative suppliers. "With all of that being said, we're working through it - we'll see what happens", he said.

Yet to be announced is whether the U.S. will impose economic sanctions on Turkey for its decision.

"The deliveries are likely to be made by April 2023", India's Minister of State for Defence Sripad Naik said in parliament on Wednesday, while relaying the threats of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if India goes through with the purchase of the world's most powerful air defence systems.

Turkey had also argued that the U.S. was slow to offer an alternative missile defence shield.

"A contract has been signed on October 5, 2018 for delivery of S-400 system from Russian Federation".

Turkey initially sought in 2009 to buy the US Patriot missile defence system, and a $7.8bn deal was tentatively approved by the Obama administration.

Part of what has driven Erdoğan's decision to go with the S-400 system is that Turkey will gain the technology to build S-400 systems itself.

"We have begun to receive our S-400s".

They say they do not want F-35s to be near S-400 systems because they fear Russian technicians will be able to access the warplane's vulnerabilities.

Russian Federation is likely to deliver the S-400 missile systems to India by April 2023, the government said on Wednesday.

"The U.S. and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the program and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the program", said Ellen Lord, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

Latest News