US expels Turkey from F-35 fighter jet

The United States said on Wednesday that it
was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet
programme, a move that had been long
threatened and expected after Ankara began
accepting delivery of an advanced Russian
missile defence system last week.
The first parts of the S-400 air defence system
were flown to the Murted military airbase
northwest of Ankara on Friday, sealing
Turkey’s deal with Russia , which Washington
had struggled for months to prevent.
“The US and other F-35 partners are aligned in
this decision to suspend Turkey from the
programme and initiate the process to formally
remove Turkey from the programme,” said
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defence for
acquisition and sustainment at the Pentagon .
Turkey’s foreign ministry said the move was
unfair and could affect relations between the
two countries.
“We invite the United States to return from this
mistake which would open irreparable wounds
in strategic relations,” the ministry said after
the Pentagon’s announcement.
Lord said moving the supply chain for the
advanced fighter jet would cost the US between
$500m and $600m in non-recurring
engineering costs.
Turkey makes more than 900 parts of the F-35,
she said, adding the supply chain would
transition from Turkish to mainly US factories
as Turkish suppliers are removed.
“Turkey will certainly and regrettably lose jobs
and future economic opportunities from this
decision,” Lord said. “It will no longer receive
more than nine billion dollars in projected
work share related to the F-35 over the life of
the programme.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the White House said in
a statement that Turkey’s decision to buy the
Russian S-400 air defence system “renders its
continued involvement with the F-35
impossible”.
“The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian
intelligence-collection platform that will be
used to learn about its advanced capabilities,”
the White House statement said, referring to
the S-400 air defence system as a means for
Russia to probe US capabilities.
The White House, however, sought to downplay
the effects of the decision on the US
relationship with Turkey, saying that
Washington still “greatly values” its strategic
relationship with Ankara.
US President Donald
Trump announced
on Tuesday that the
S-400 purchase
means Turkey will
not be allowed to
buy any F-35 planes.
But he also declined to criticise Turkey’s
acquisition of the Russian defence system,
saying it’s a complex situation” and Ankara
was forced into the move by his predecessor
Barack Obama.
Economic sanctions?
Yet to be announced is whether the US will
impose economic sanctions on Turkey for its
decision to buy the S-400 system. Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously
said he did not believe Washington would
impose sanctions over the issue since the two
countries are “strategic allies”.
Trump on Tuesday signalled a reluctance to
punish Turkey with major sanctions over its
acquisition.
“It’s a very tough situation that they’re in. And
it’s a very tough situation that we’ve been
placed in the United States,” Trump told
reporters during a Cabinet meeting at the White
House.
“With all of that being said, we’re working
through it. We’ll see what happens, but it’s not
really fair,” he added, again appearing to place
blame on the Obama administration for failing
to sell the US’s best alternative to the Russian
S-400s – Patriot missiles.
The break with Turkey over its purchase of a
Russian weapon system is symptomatic of a
deeper division between Ankara and its
Western allies and partners.
Army Secretary Mark Esper, Trump’s nominee
to become secretary of defence, told his Senate
confirmation hearing on Tuesday he is troubled
by Turkey’s decision to defy the US on the
S-400, suggesting that it reveals a broader
strategic problem.
“It is very
disheartening to see
how they have
drifted over the past
several years,” Esper
said.
Deep division
Turkey has said that it was not given
favourable terms to buy the American
alternative to the Russian S-400 air defence
system. The White House, however, said in its
statement on Wednesday that Turkey had
plenty of chances to buy the US Patriot system.
“This administration has made multiple offers
to move Turkey to the front of the line to
receive the US Patriot air defence system,” it
said.
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.
But Washington baulked when Ankara, seeking
to boost its own technology base, insisted on
Turkey producing some of the system
components itself as part of the deal.
Ankara first turned to China and then to Russia
for the system.
This week, Erdogan
hailed the first S-400
delivery and said
the next step was to
jointly produce the
system.
“We have begun to
receive our S-400s.
Some said, ‘they

cannot buy them ‘… God willing the final part
of this (delivery) will be in April 2020,”
Erdogan said.
The ongoing dispute between the countries with
the two largest armies in NATO marks a deep
division in the Western military alliance, which
was forged after World War II to counter
Moscow’s military power.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND CLINGNEWS AGENCIES

Updated: 18/07/2019 — 10:24

3 Comments

  1. Well the USA government are acting highly which may lead to world war III.

    1. you are right

  2. Tajudeen Ibrahim

    You’re on that cling

Comments are closed.