The United States is withdrawing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program, a move long endangered and anticipated after Ankara started accepting supply of a complicated Russian missile defense system last week.
The primary components of the S-400 air defense system have been flown to the Murted military airbase northwest of Ankara on Friday, sealing NATO ally Turkey’s deal with Russia, which Washington had struggled for months to prevent.
“The U.S. and different F-35 partners are aligned on this decision to suspend Turkey from this system and provoke the process to formally remove Turkey from this system,” Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, informed a briefing.
Turkey’s international ministry stated the transfer was unfair and will have an effect on relations between the two countries.
Lord stated that transferring the supply chain for the superior fighter jet would price the United States between $500 million and $600 million in non-recurring engineering costs.
Turkey makes more significant than 900 components of the F-35, she stated, including the supply chain would transition from Turkish to mainly U.S. factories as Turkish suppliers are removed.
The F-35 stealth fighter jet, primarily the most advanced aircraft within the U.S. arsenal, is utilized by NATO and other U.S. allies.
Washington is worried that deploying the S-400 with the F-35 would enable Russia to realize an excessive amount of inside details about the aircraft’s stealth system.
“The F-35 can’t coexist with a Russian intelligence-assortment platform that will likely be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” the White House stated in an announcement earlier on Wednesday.
Washington had long said the acquisition of the S-400 might lead to Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 program.