US blocks delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey
The Pentagon has halted the delivery of parts to the F-35 jet to Turkey due to Turkey’s decision to purchase the Russian-made S-400 missile system.
“Pending an unequivocal Turkish decision to forgo delivery of the S-400, deliveries and activities associated with the stand-up of Turkey’s F-35 operational capability have been suspended while our dialogue on this important matter continues with Turkey,” Lt. Col. Mike Andrews told CNN in a statement.
“We very much regret the current situation facing our F-35 partnership, but the DoD is taking prudent steps to protect the shared investments made in our critical technology,” he added.
U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who is the current Supreme Allied Commander Europe for NATO and the head of American forces in Europe, said early last month that the F-35 sale to Turkey should be canceled if it buys the S-400.
A day later, Erdoğan told local television channels that not only will Turkey stick to its S-400 acquisition plans, but it might also seek the more advanced S-500 in the future.