The two NATO allies have disputed for months over Ankara’s purchase order for Russia’s S-400 air defence systems, which Washington claims could pose a threat to US F-35 fighter jets.

The US took the decision to stop accepting any new Turkish pilots to the US-based F-35 fighter jet training program, previously agreed on with Turkey, Reuters reported, citing US officials.

According to Reuters, two unnamed US officials revealed the decision on
F-35 jet training, noting that chances for a policy reversal depended on Ankara.

The US officials said that the decision applied only to upcoming rounds of Turkish pilots and maintenance crews that normally would have come to the United States, according to Reuters.

A formal decision on halting the training of Turkish pilots and maintenance crews at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, however, has not been made, Reuters reported citing officials.

According to Reuters, the possibility of a reversal of the decision is open if Turkey alters its plans.

According to the US military, cited by Reuters, four Turkish pilots are currently training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Two additional Turkish pilots are at the US base working as instructors. Beyond those six Turkish officers, there are an additional 20 Turkish aircraft maintenance personnel at the base undergoing training.

Meanwhile, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for European and NATO Policy Andrew Winternitz said on Thursday that if Turkey purchased both the S-400 and the F-35 for its armed forces, it could study ways to use the Russian defence system more effectively against US fifth-generation aircraft.

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On Tuesday, US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said that Turkey must back down and cancel plans to purchase the S-400. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains committed to going through with the deal.

Washington has reportedly given Ankara until the end of the first week of June to either abandon the S-400 deal with Russia or face penalties, which would include sanctions, removal from Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet program and cancellation of the delivery of 100 F-35 jets.

 

Source: Sputnik

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1 COMMENT

  1. Well some other Nato armies like Greece could buy Russian weapons (if I’m not wrong Greece has s-300’s) but why not Turkey? That’s hypocritical policy of US

    • Greece inherited S-300 from Cyprus which is not NATO, some others like Slovakia had received S-300 during the Soviet-Era…
      Thus, India an Vietnam which are also good US clients got waivers for the purchase of S-400 and it seems that US seems not too pressuring KSA and Egypt or UAE who are in talks for S-400 (thus none is into purchasing F-35)

      +++ “That’s hypocritical policy of US”
      => No, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
      Any way, Erdogan managed to ruin Turkey’s blossoming relations with the EU, USA and Israel (several of Roketsan missiles, as much as Turkish drones, use Israeli technology BTW).
      Erdogan is even telling lies when he says air defence systems were refused to Turkey: what he wanted was 100% transfer of technology. Raytheon/Lockheed refused for the Patriot system, EuroSAM/MBDA refused for SAMP/T and so did CPMIEC (China) for HQ-9, BTW, Almaz-Antei is only OK to have parts built in Turkey, they don’ accept a full ToT too… Erdogan is trying to play each against the other, as usual, and it doesn’t works… He managed to fool the Obongo admin. for a while with his “zero problems with neighbours” taqiyya, ROFL! He created problems with ALL neighbours! And even into Turkey since PKK was inactive for years : he restarted to oppress Kurds and pushed PKK to pull out from the ceasefire. Just think that this creep signed a free-trade/free-boder-crossing treaty with Syria and used it to smuggle arms and jihadis into the country for 2 years before the SHTF started…
      At the same time he was promoting Turkey’s cooperation with Israel in the arms business, he started to back Hamas, I prefer not imagine what would have happened had Turkey been allowed into the EU, Turkey is a HUGE small arms builder, we’d end with a Bataclan every week. This creep is already threatening Greece with invading Greek islands close to Turkey and even a full invasion of Cyprus, which Turkey occupies the northern part for 45 years, thus, there is a good side : it prevented Turkey’s entry in the EU since any EU country can veto a new entry.

      So, who is hypocritical?