Turkey blows up surprise over F - 35 fighter jets[/rtl]
[rtl]Release date:: 2019/8/16 8:28 • 214 times read[/rtl]
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday that Ankara has not been expelled from the world's most expensive F-35 fighter development program.
The Pentagon announced in July a decision to deny Ankara the F-35s it had ordered, and said Turkey would not continue to make hundreds of parts of the plane.
Washington's move came after Turkey took over the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Washington has repeatedly warned that it would deprive Turkey of F-35s if the latter received Russian missile defense systems, saying the S-400 radar and tracking program would undermine US fighter capabilities.
Prior to the decision, the United States had stopped training F-35 pilots in Arizona.
"There is no official thing like expelling Turkey from the US aircraft program," Ahwazoglu told a news conference.
He said Turkey believed that the two allies (Ankara and Washington) could resolve their differences on several issues, apart from buying fighter jets.
"Otherwise, the two countries will take measures that will strain relations between the parties, and no one will be a beneficiary.
He pointed out that Ankara contributed to the US fighter industry, and paid about $ 1.4 billion for the purchase of a number of these fighter jets, which were supposed to form the backbone of the Turkish Air Force in the next decade.
There was no immediate US official comment in response to the Turkish foreign minister's remarks