Turkey dismisses USA warning over S-400 Russian missiles

Turkey dismisses USA warning over S-400 Russian missiles

Turkey dismisses USA warning over S-400 Russian missiles

US officials also said the decision to go ahead with the S-400 deal would jeopardize Turkey's purchase of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and possibly result in the United States imposing sanctions.

Earlier this week, the head of U.S. European Command told lawmakers the United States should not move forward with the F-35 sales, should Turkey purchase the S-400.

On March 6, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told local television channels that not only will Turkey not back down from its S-400 plans, but it might seek the more advanced S-500 in the future.

Asked about comments made earlier this week by America's top general in Europe, acting press secretary Charlie Summers said "If turkey takes the S-400, there would be grave outcome in terms of our military relationship, and the Patriots and the F-35s", Summers said.

"We've clearly warned Turkey that its potential acquisition of the S-400 will result in a reassessment of Turkey's participation in the F-35 program and risk other potential future arm transfers to Turkey", State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said. He said Turkey's use of the Russian surface-to-air missile defense system would be a threat to the F-35.

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The US fears the Russian system could be used to collect intelligence on the jet's stealth capabilities, but Erdogan said "we've researched it, there is no such thing".

Some have said the United States is concerned that the S-400 poses security risks to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project. Ankara insists the S-400 offers the best value for its needs and poses no threat to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems. No positive development has occurred up to this point and Erdoğan stated once again on Wednesday that the S-400 deal is done and there is no going back.

At the same time, Turkey has helped finance the F-35 program and planned to buy 100 of the jets from the US, the first of which are due to be delivered later this year. Deliveries were halted a year ago by Congress.

FILE - A Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet is seen in its hangar at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, in the eastern US state of Maryland, Oct. 28, 2015. Turkey's plan to buy the S-400 from Russian Federation may make this hard.

Erdogan added that first delivery of the S-400 would be made in July.

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