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.

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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.