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Pentagon Gives Erdogan An Ultimatum: Don’t Expect Our F-35s If You Buy Russian S-400s

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

The Pentagon is getting close to slamming the door on Turkey regarding the contentious transfer of Lockheed F-35 stealth jets purchased previously by Ankara, an issue debated this week in Congressional hearings. The Department of Defense (DoD) has now offered a stern ultimatum and warning, telling Turkey: don’t expect to receive F-35s if Russia’s anti-air defense system is bought.

Pentagon Gives Erdogan An Ultimatum: Don't Expect Our F-35s If You Buy Russian S-400s

F-35B Stealth fighter jet, file photo

Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers said Friday morning that there will be “grave consequences” if Turkey moves forward in purchasing Russia’s S-400, according to Bloomberg — this after the top US commander in Europe, Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, recommended to Congress this week that delivery to Turkey of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter should ultimately be cancelled, nothing that the S-400 remains “a problem to all of our aircraft, but specifically the F-35.”

Turkey’s currency fell 1.5 percent this week amid fears relations with Washington could worsen over the standoff. President Erdogan has further missed a “soft deadline” previously set by the US over an offer to buy $3.5 billion Raytheon Co. Patriot missile shield system, as an alternative to the Russian S-400. The Pentagon said the Patriot offer would be impossible should Turkey seek the Russian system.

Failure to receive the F-35s could further impact Turkey’s economy given that a number of Turkish defense technology companies have contracts to build and develop systems and add-ons needed for Turkey to operate the aircraft, such as cockpit displays for the multi-national fighter jet.

However, Erdogan has remained unmoved as the issue has come to a head, repeating during a Turkish TV broadcast interview this week, “this is over” in reference to continued debate. “There can never be a turning back. This would not be ethical, it would be immoral. Nobody should ask us to lick up what we spat,” he said.

Thus far Erdogan has dismissed all Pentagon and US ultimatums. “We are an independent Turkey, we are not slaves,” he said during the interview previously this week.

The advanced Russian-made S-400 air defense system sought by Turkey has been seen as a threat by the United States, given the potential for compromising the F-35 advanced radar evading and electronics capabilities.

The main argument for blocking the F-35 transfer is the fear that Russia would get access to the extremely advanced Joint Strike Fighter stealth aircraft, enabling Moscow to detect and exploit its vulnerabilities. Russia would ultimately learn how the S-400 could take out an F-35. 

Also this week the US State Department warned that transferal of S-400 systems could result in far reaching sanctions against Turkey under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), despite its NATO status.

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  • LR captain

    US look we know the F-35 are shit so can’t have turks train by using the F-35 and s-400 if any weakness is discovered (there will be) it would cause Lockheed martin’s stock to crash.

    News flash Russian might already spotted the f-35 on the their radars. hence why Israelis kept doing upgrades to its radar adsorbing materials.

    zionists we will go as far into syria front the different angles last time we managed to get 340 km to the AA radar system. before Russians pick of the phone.
    This we will try this new coating to see if we can get to 310km before the Russians pick up.

    then Syrians saw the plane flying right over there radars and send anti-air missile towards them. the shrapnle the s200 missile tore at the stealth coating and damaged the plane.

    stupid “birds” they ruined 5 years of lazy researchers sitting on their asses.

  • vlad767

    Yes, “USA don’t need allies, they only need vassals”, as Putin said.

  • Sinbad2

    Will the US refund the money Turkey has paid for the F35’s, of course not.

    • vlom2441

      I agree. You should know by now that the Empire of Chaos is run by a den of thieves. sociopaths, and psychopaths. They have stealing other countries assets for over a hundred years.

  • Rick0Shea

    This reminds me of the joke – first prize is a F-35, second prize is two F-35s.

  • Tommy Jensen

    And thats not he only thing.
    Whoppers, cheeseburgers and Nike shoes will also be banned from sale to Turkey so you can eat your own swarwamas in the future.

    • Jim Bim

      What a punishment not being allowed to consume US junk.

      • vlom2441

        Tommy Jensen is a fool.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Tommy is akin to a court jester who takes the piss out of his King , without the King realising.

          I find him entertaining :)

    • Alex

      Actually, shoarma is much more tastier and by far more healthy that those macdonalds poison foods,
      plenty of alternatives for nike, lol

      • Selbstdenker

        Turkey is an Adidas country anyway

  • Ole Johansen

    There is a unknown flaw to this flying trojan horse and Israel knows that. Its the remote control feature based in a technology called Boeing Uninterpretable Auto Pilot(BUAP), a system where one can take over a plane using preferably satellite, but also possibly the other network features of the F 35.

    Being a part of developing this, Israel is the only nation that is allowed to totally inspect the software in F- 35 and other nations can not, like Turkey. The fall- over for remote control is a kill switch, but with todays level of drone technology its seems more likely that they would want to remote control the planes, so that the US can by remote start a war on behalf of lets say Turkey.

    Back in time during the Norwegian fake procurement process the Eurofighter representative lost his head for a second being pissed of discovering that Norway was going to choose the F 35 no matter what, and he said that there is a little black box in the noose of he plane that your not allowed to know what does.

    The stupid nations that bought his plane might just as well be attacked by their own F 35 and can experience that their F 35 all of a sudden starts a war they did not want, being remote controlled from either Florida og Ramstein, or even a nearby AWAC.

    If Turkey can avoid the F 35 it will strengthen their national security. If you can not fully inspect your defense products for possible killswitches or remote controls, you better stay clear.

  • Brother Thomas

    No F-35’s? That’s a bonus for Turkey.

  • Jim Bim

    I`m sure the other buyers will be happy to see the price for the F-35 will go up because of the 120 F-35 Turkey will not be allowed to buy.
    Also Turkey produces vital parts to the F-35, a production shutdown will slow down the delivery.
    As always US threats and sanction policy are short sided and produces self inflicted wounds.

    • You can call me Al

      Remember only a few weeks ago Germany also said no way to the F-35.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Even Britain is not going to buy as many now, and the cutbacks are for the carrier version :)

        • Jim Bim

          Precisely

      • Jim Bim

        Exactly.
        But the week NATO puppet countries are forced to buy the junk.

  • SnowCatzor

    Looks like a win-win for Turkey in that case, the F-35 with all its buggy (and bugged) hard/software is a threat to it’s owner’s national security. Russian weapons come with no strings attached and will usually do the same job cheaper.