Saturday, May 18, 2019

F-35 News. Turkey is essentially out as an F-35 customer after announcing that it will co-produce S-500's with Russia...

Thanks to Osmanoglu for the link!

via ChannelNewsAsia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday (May 18) said Turkey and Russia would jointly produce S-500 defence systems after Ankara's controversial purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Moscow.

Turkey's push to buy the S-400s has further strained already tense relations with the United States which has repeatedly warned Ankara of the risks including sanctions as a result of the purchase.

"There is absolutely no question of (Turkey) taking a step back from the S-400s purchase. That is a done deal," Erdogan said in Istanbul.

"There will be joint production of the S-500 after the S-400," Erdogan told an audience of young people asking questions.

Ties between NATO allies Turkey and the US have frayed over multiple issues including American support for a Syrian Kurdish militia viewed as terrorists by Ankara and the US failure to extradite a Muslim preacher blamed for the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan.

Washington says the deal with Moscow is a threat to Western defence and in April suspended deliveries of the F-35 stealth fighter jet to Turkey in a bid to halt the purchase.

Turkish pilots are in the US receiving training on the F-35s, manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Turkey is expected to buy 100 of the jets in total.

Erdogan said Turkey conducted technical studies amid US concerns over the compatibility of the S-400s and the F-35s but found there were no issues.

He also insisted "sooner or later" Turkey would receive the F-35 jets.

Despite the threat of sanctions, Erdogan repeated that the S-400s were expected to be delivered in July, "but this could be brought forward", he added.

Well you can pretty much stick a fork in Turkey getting F-35s.

This concern about Russian missiles turned from a friendly disagreement into brinksmanship.

If Congress, the Pentagon and the President of the USA backs down then there will be hell to pay.  The same applies to their counterparts in Turkey.

One thing has me curious.

Why would you continue to train Turkish pilots on the plane if all this was going on?  Has vital US tech been protected against espionage by this friendly nation turning more hostile everyday?

Turkey just made one helluva statement.

They're inches away from turning away from NATO/EU/US and turning toward Russia.

Chaos is the new constant.

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