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Washington confirms: Turkey outside the F-35 aircraft program

"The purchase of the S-400 missile system makes it impossible to participate"

"Unfortunately, Turkey's decision to purchase S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia makes it impossible to continue involvement in the F-35 program. The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian platform for gathering intelligence information that will be used to learn about the advanced capabilities of these fighters. The United States has been actively working with Turkey to provide the country with air defense solutions designed to meet Ankara's legitimate needs.This administration has made several offers to provide Turkey quickly the American Patriot air defense system. Turkey has been a long-standing and trusted partner, and a NATO ally for over 65 years, but acceptance of the S-400 undermines the commitments that all NATO allies have taken on to distance ourselves from Russian systems. This will have negative impacts on Turkey's interoperability with the Alliance": according to a note issued yesterday by the office of the White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham.

Softening the tone: "The United States still greatly appreciates strategic relations with Turkey. As NATO allies, our relationship is multifocal and does not focus exclusively on the F-35. Our intermilitary exchanges are strong, and we will continue to cooperate with Turkey in a close manner, aware however of the limitations due to the presence of the S-400 system in the country".

See for details also AVIONEWS 1 and 2.

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