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Turkey looks for Moscow's fighter planes

Ankara is considering to replace F-35s with the Sukhoi Su-57s

Turkey threatens to turn its back on United States. Defense ministry officials are evalueting to purchase Sukhoi Su-57 fighter planes from Russia, if the F-35 deal is finally to be lifted, according to "Yeni-Safa", one of the most influential newspapers close to the Ankara government.

The 100 Joint Strike Fighter agreement is on the grid, after the ultimatum sent from Washington to stop the purchase of S-400 anti-aircraft defense missiles produced by Moscow, to which, however, Turkish president Erdogan has already said not want to give up (see AVIONEWS).

On one hand, White House cannot afford to allow NATO's second army generate cracks in the security in the alliance's defense system, while on the other, Turkey does not intend to lose fifth-generation fighters. In April, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that Ankara would satisfy his need for advanced hunting "in another place", if Washington had cancelled its commitment to sell. Thus attention is moving towards Kremlin.

The Su-57 fighters are distinguished by the lowest price compared to the F-35, each one costs around 100 million dollars. Moreover, according to what was leaked from the Turkish portal, the Ankara government believes that even if the F-35s were delivered, they would create serious security risks since they are directly commanded by the United States, and therefore they would not regret losing them.

"Russia is ready to cooperate to sell Su-57 fighter airplanes to Turkey, if participation in the F-35 aircraft program with the United States collapses", Sergey Chemezov of Rostec Corporation told to "Anadolu" agency, adding that the jets have already obtained the export permit and are available to be sold.

Furthermore, Turkey's alternative plans would also look for Shenyang FC-31, the new multi-role stealth fighter also known as J-31 which is being developed by China, in addition intensifying efforts to produce a local defense aircraft.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency