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Turkey will not be gaining the F-35, following the acquisition of Russia's S-400. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Has removed Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program, and also Turkey will shed its production work-related on the jet by march 2020, complying with its accept of the S-400 Russian-made wait defense mechanism last Friday.

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However, a height Pentagon main would no close the door ~ above Turkey rejoining the regime in some form, must it reverse the decision to buy the S-400.


The White home issued a declare Wednesday confirming the move, i beg your pardon Washington had threatened for months.

“Turkey’s decision to acquisition Russian S-400 waiting defense systems makes its ongoing involvement through the F-35 impossible,” the White home statement read. “The F-35 can not coexist v a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be supplied to learn about its progressed capabilities.”

“Turkey has actually been a longstanding and also trusted partner and NATO allied for end 65 years, yet accepting the S-400 undermines the commitments every NATO Allies made come each other to relocate away indigenous Russian systems," the explain continued.


Shortly after ~ the statement was released, the Pentagon hosted a rare on-camera push conference to explain the process moving forward, through Undersecretary the Defense for Acquisition Ellen Lord and also Deputy Undersecretary the Defense for plan David Trachtenberg.


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“Turkey cannot ar a Russian intelligence collection communication in proximity to wherein the F-35 routine makes repairs, and houses the F-35,” mr said. “Much of the F-35′s toughness lies in that is stealth capabilities, therefore the ability to finding those capabilities would jeopardize the long term defense of the F-35 program. Us seek just to protect the lengthy term security of the F-35 program.”

Turkey, a companion in the F-35 regime that helped money the breakthrough of the jet, planned to buy 100 F-35As. Its very first jet was rolled out in June 2018 in a festive “delivery ceremony." despite Turkey formally own its jets, the U.S. Has said it has the power to store the planes from relocating to Turkish soil and also intends to keep all 4 existing Turkish jets from leaving the U.S.

Lord avoided saying that the door to be shut top top Turkey return to the program should the S-400 be eliminated from that soil and also repeatedly supplied the term “suspension” to characterize Turkey’s condition in the F-35 program. As soon as asked twice whether Turkey could be welcomed earlier if the instance changes, lord did not provide a direct answer one way or the other.


“At this point, the Turks have actually made a decision. We have said the F-35 and S-400 space incompatible. Us will work forward at this allude to unwind the relationship," she said.

All Turkish F-35 personnel have been informed they have to leave the U.S. Through July 31, including 20 individuals assigned to the Joint program Office. Neither official would comment on if any of those individuals have requested asylum.

By march 2020, Turkey’s industrial participation in the F-35 program, which contains production on about 900 parts for the stealthy fighter, will certainly be “unwound." Lord claimed the projection is this will expense Turkey’s economy about $9 billion over the life that the program. American companies will initially fill those manufacturing roles, but the score is to at some point farm several of it out to various other partners.

Lord claimed the procedure will have actually “minimal” results on the larger F-35 program since of the planning the has already gone on for several months.


To move the manufacturing from Turkey come the U.S. Will require in between $500-$600 million in nonrecurring engineering costs, mr said. I beg your pardon partners, if any, would be ready to to buy the F-35s currently in manufacturing for Turkey was still being operated out.

Trachtenberg consistently delivered the same blog post over and over: that this case is no one that should affect the broader NATO alliance. That includes Turkey’s participation in NATO exercises, specifically upcoming occasions in Georgia, Germany and Ukraine.

Asked number of times exactly how Turkey having actually an air-defense device that cannot be attached to various other NATO systems and could be used to spy top top NATO jets would not harm alliance cohesion, Trachtenberg continuously said the relationship between Turkey, the U.S. And NATO will be able to continue.

In a statement, Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor ~ above the F-35 program, said, “This is a government-to-government matter, and as always, we are adhering to official U.S. Government guidance together it relates to distribution of the F-35 come Turkey and also the fiddle of items from the Turkish it is provided chain.”

“Over the last numerous months we’ve been functioning to establish alternative sources of it is provided in the United says to conveniently accommodate Turkey’s current contributions to the program. These actions will limit any kind of future production or sustainment impact and we stay on monitor to accomplish our commitment of transporting 131 F-35s this year,” the statement added.


Aaron Mehta to be deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, extending policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels that the Defense Department and its global partners.


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