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‘First Concrete Step’: US Halts F-35 Equipment Shipments To Turkey Over S-400 Deal

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'First Concrete Step': US Halts F-35 Equipment Shipments To Turkey Over S-400 Deal

A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (Reuters Photo)

The US has halted delivery of equipment related to the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey, the country’s pro-government daily Daily Sabah reported on April 1 citing “sources familiar with the situation”.

The report described this situation as “the first concrete U.S. step to block delivery of the jet to the NATO ally in light of Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian missile defense system.”

“In recent days, U.S. officials told their Turkish counterparts they will not receive further shipments of F-35 related equipment needed to prepare for the arrival of the stealthy jet, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. The aircraft is built by Lockheed Martin Corp.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the next shipment of training equipment, and all subsequent shipments of F-35 related material, have been canceled,” the daily elaborated.

Earlier, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has refused to abort Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system. The US is fiercely opposing this deal claiming that it would compromise the security of F-35 aircraft. According to Turkish sources, the delivery of S-400 systems is expected in July.

Last year, US President Donald Trump signed a bill blocking the F-35 fighter jets transfer to Turkey, but the F-35 Joint Program Office said it would execute the transfer according to existing plans. Last week, four US Senators introduced another bipartisan bill to prohibit the transfer until Turkey agrees to abandon the S-400 deal. This seems to not happen. Therefore, the US will have to make a final decision to ban the F-35 delivery or to accept that it cannot deal with its ‘NATO allies’ with ultimatums only.

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  • Jesus

    Turkey is moving outside of US’ orbit, so threats about cutting off F35 has not much impact. Erdogan is smart to align himself with a reliable ally and procure weapons that are kill efficient and cost effective. Opportunity for Turkey to buy Suk 57 exists, since Russia gave the green light for export opportunities, and Suk 57 is a much more capable plane and is cost efficient.

    • DontBelieveEitherPropaganda

      I guess not even Moscau believes Erdogan would totally give up NATO membership and align soley with Russia. NATO still has many benefits, at least in Erdogans eyes. And Trump wants to make deals and sell his millitary gear so he can claim to provide some jobs for Rust Belt Americans.
      Erdogan will weasel around like he does with everything. How that works out, we will see.

      • Jesus

        Turkey does not have to leave NATO, Europeans do no want Turkey part of the EU, F35 and Patriot missiles do not provide jobs for the Rust Belt, they fatten up MIC coffers. Of course Erdo will play all cards available to him, Putin knows that, he controls the strings that make Erdo move.

        • Barba_Papa

          Nobody controls the strings that make Erdogan move. That’s why the guy is such a loose cannon. You push him, he will push back. That’s why ultimatums don’t work with this guy. Putin wished that he could control the strings that make Erdogan move. If he did the SAA wouldn’t be having its Mexican standoff with the Turks over Idlib. The only thing Putin does know is that you can’t threaten, cajole or push Erdogan into anything. In that sense all he has to do is to lean back and watch the Americans push Erdogan into Putin’s orbit. That’s the relatively easy part. Getting Erdogan to give up Idlib and the occupied zones on the other hand, that’s the hard part. That will take a miracle of diplomacy as you have to convince Erdogan that its not only in his best interest to do so, but also that it was his own idea. I don’t envy the Herculean task of Russian diplomats in this regard.

          • Jesus

            Erdogan makes his moves based on necessities on hand. He knows he wants to pursue his own policies and he gets tired of US punishments involving the depreciation of the lira and all the slew of sanctions and related BS, he sees the future of the SCO and benefits associated being aligned with them, economic incentives and a lawfull cooperation will soften him. Putin has an influence on him, Turkish presence in Syria can counteract the SDF and Zionist aspirations, and the stalemate in Syria will persist until further developments come along.

          • ruca

            Good comment BP

  • FlorianGeyer

    Well, the Turks are off the hook now , as the Yanks have refused to sell the Turkish nation the overpriced ‘ F35 crock of shit ‘.

    • Sinbad2

      Yeah but they have already paid.

      • BMWA1

        Great advert for F35!

      • Trauma2000

        Have they already paid? How much? When? If the Turks have already paid then it sounds like breach of contract to me. Tome to draw battle lines.

        • Bob

          US quite likely to attempt to unilaterally legislate their way out of repaying any deposit – with retroactive Congress Bills pitched around danger of sensitive technology transfers – it would take international legal action for Turkey to recoup any deposits. But then again, Erdogan is a suitably belligerent individual to pursue indefinite legal suite in international arbitration.

      • Nowruz

        Turkey as a member of NATO would void the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). In short, the money they paid for those F-35s is gone.

      • FlorianGeyer

        It’s time to take over all US assets in Turkey then.

    • James

      Now just to get their deposit back….

      • Nosferatu

        they are not going to get the money back. US always cheats on everyone. That will be the price Turkey will pay for leaving NATO.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Or takeover US assets within Turkey to contra charge the cash that the US wants to steal from Turkey.

    • Joe Met

      Thay crock would clean the Russian clock.

  • Keep your F-35 junk

    • Saddam Hussein

      Based. Also (((kurds))) are traitors.

  • chris chuba

    Is the U.S. now going to give Turkey their money back or do what they did to Iran and keep the money and not deliver the HW.

    • Saddam Hussein

      Hahahahahaha US giving money back, good one.

    • grumpy_carpenter

      The USA paid to build Incirlik Air Base which currently houses 5000 NATO airmen plus there are many other military and security assets that the USA has paid for over the years in Turkey. It’s gonna be a messy divorce and until the assets are accounted for it’s a coin toss as to who comes out ahead.

  • Saddam Hussein

    Good. Turkey doesnt need their cheap and shitty planes. Hopefully this will lead to Turkey leaving NATO.

    • PZIVJ

      Or at least it will drive a wedge between Turkey and NATO.
      It’s a good news day. :)

    • Sinbad2

      Shitty yes, but at $100 million a piece and 30 grand an hour to fly, they are certainly not cheap.

    • Romeo Pesiao

      So what???

  • Sinbad2

    Tricky for the US, they don’t want to supply the planes, but they don’t want to return the money Turkey paid.
    Last time this happened it was Iran they got some of their money back, after 35 years.

    The moral of the story, never pay an America in advance.
    If they can rip you off, they will rip you off.

  • El Mashi

    Turkey will be producing its own aircraft and defense equipment following the steps of Iran. It is not in the character of the Turks to be vassals of the descendents of the Crusaders.

    • Bob

      Somewhat deluded comment – Turkey has acquired direct imports or produced licensed copies of German small arms and larger hardware – ie naval vessels and tanks – for well over a century. As for all those second tier up-rated M-60 tanks of the TAF – so often seen on Syrian border – they are Israeli in origin.

    • Brother Ma

      The Turks have been slavish to the Crusaders for many a year. Specifically ,1770 ‘s Treary of Kucuk Kianarji

  • northerntruthseeker .

    I do hope the Turks are laughing themselves silly right now…. The F35 is such a dismal flop that they would save billions by not purchasing that American crap!

    Maybe the Turks will now up their purchases from Russia beyond the S400 and order a few Su35 or Su37 fighters that can blow the F35 out of the sky!

    • χρηστος

      not that simple. dont forget Turkey has invested billions in the programm. a big part of its industry is manufacturing parts f the aircraft and have established their role in the maintenance of the NATO air crafts in the region. for example Italian and German F-35s will have their engines maintained in Turkey. if the Sultain breaks the deal both Turkey industries and LMartin will suffer

      • Brother Ma

        Stupid Italy and Germany! I would never trust Turkey to fix my nation’s planes.

  • seawolf

    What about restricting the passage of navy ships through `Bosporus to the ships of Black Sea states?

    • PZIVJ

      This would be a breach of a very old treaty.
      Non Black Sea states are limited to a small number of naval ships.

  • James

    It will be interesting to see how Erdogan responds to this. How would NATO/US feel if they were told to basically get out? What if their ships can’t enter/exit the Black Sea? What if Turkey builds an even bigger reliance on Russia for Defence?

    • vezpit

      The rules for entering & exiting the Black Sea are pretty much set in stone. Don’t think Turkey would prevent any exit or entrance for any Nation’s ships unless the ships are acting as belligerents.

      • χρηστος

        indeed that would be an act of war against US and allies.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      that be the day turkey will cease to exist. For a country that is based on western technology as well all her armed forces relay on US and EU support to keep them going, beside her economy. So farting and creating the commotion is easy. Facing the consequences that are about to come it will not be so easy and I dont think russia can afford turkey.

    • χρηστος

      i dont think that the Sultain will go that far. he plays tough for his own audience and because Russia plays along in Syria. he will keep in balance this because he knows that without the US he is finished

  • Bob

    This is interesting scenario – if Turkey is denied the basic infrastructure to service and operate the F-35, then how are any other NATO F-35 operators going to be able to operate from the major regional NATO Incirlik air base in Turkey?

    • Concrete Mike

      Lolll i didnt think of that.

      • Brother Ma

        Slowly reroute aircraft use to Bulgaria or Greek airports. Larisa and souda bay are examples.

    • χρηστος

      Turkey plays a major role in the production of F-35s as many companies are involved as subcontractors. the materials that US has stop sending are not ‘basic infrastructure’ meaning shelters etc…..its secondary materials that are needed for the subcontractors to deliver their projects, for example…..the hydrolics of the bay doors are manufactured in italy then are send for assembly to Turkey that manufactures the bay doors….thats how things work and thats the main problem that Us faces and has delayed ‘sanctions’ of this kind to Turkey……if US proceeds then LM will have to find a new subcontractor for the bay doors mentioned above( a random example not based on facts)…that means years of delays in the programme. LM cannot afford that.

  • verner

    are those coffins paid in advance (suspect that is the case) or on delivery and if paid in advance, will turkey be given a refund for money paid in advance. turkey is doing a high wire act, trying to stay cool with russia without pissing off moronistan too much.

  • You can call me Al

    You lucky Turkish so and sos.

  • χρηστος

    as i mentioned below its complicated…..LMartin needs Turkey because many companies are subcontractors in the construction and then the maintenance of aircrafts. not easy to find new, that will result in delays and time is money. same thing goes for Turkish companies. they have invested billions in the programme that they need to get but with profit as well….or else they are history….

    • Brother Ma

      All true but the F35 is already way overdue anyway. More delays will not affect it too much.

  • Grahamak

    oh this is were all the commie lib tards hang out….later!