Pentagon removing Turkey from F-35 program after its purchase of Russian missile defense


Turkey and U.S. flags are seen in this picture illustration taken August 25, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday that it was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program, a move that had been long threatened and expected after Ankara began accepting delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system last week.

The first parts of the S-400 air defense system were flown to the Murted military air base northwest of Ankara on Friday, sealing Turkey’s deal with Russia, which Washington had struggled for months to prevent.

“The U.S. and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the program and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the program,” said Ellen Lord, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart, Additional reporting by Mike Stone, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien



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