It’s finally ‘game over’ for Turkey and the F-35 joint strike fighter program after it received a first batch of S-400 Russian-made air defense components starting last Friday, with Russian military planes continuing deliveries into early this week.
“Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible,” a White House statement read. The official statement added:
“The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities.”
Purchased F-35 deliveries from their Lockheed Martin producer had already been held up for the past year as Washington and Ankara exchanged threats over the impending S-400 purchase. Up until today it wasn’t clear if the Trump administration would follow through on its promise to indefinitely block the transfer.
“Turkey has been a longstanding and trusted partner and NATO Ally for over 65 years, but accepting the S-400 undermines the commitments all NATO Allies made to each other to move away from Russian systems,” the statement continued.
The Pentagon will also transfer Turkey’s industrial participation in the F-35 to other countries by 2020, which will cut major Turkish defense contractors Turkish Aerospace Industries, Roketsan and Tusas Engine Industries, and others from development on the F-35 platform — a loss of an estimated $9 billion over the life of the program.
However, according to Defense News the Pentagon hasn’t completely ruled out Turkey rejoining the program should it reverse course on acceptance of the S-400, something not at all likely to happen.
After in the past week it canceled two press briefings related to Turkey, the Pentagon held a rare on-camera conference immediately following the White House statement.
“Turkey cannot field a Russian intelligence collection platform in proximity to where the F-35 program makes repairs, and houses the F-35,” Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Ellen Lord told reporters. “Much of the F-35′s strength lies in its stealth capabilities, so the ability to detect those capabilities would jeopardize the long term security of the F-35 program. We seek only to protect the long term security of the F-35 program.”
Zero Hedge’s mission is to widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public, to skeptically examine and, where necessary, attack the flaccid institution that financial journalism has become, to liberate oppressed knowledge, to provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint and to facilitate information’s unending quest for freedom. Visit https://www.zerohedge.com
This post has been republished with implied permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Zero Hedge. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.