Biden will keep Turkey out of the F-35 program

US President Joe Biden will continue his predecessor’s policy of excluding Turkey from the international program of the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, new Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral (retired) John Kirby.

The Pentagon has excluded Turkey, a NATO ally, from the F-35 coalition for buying the S-400 air defense system from Russia. According to the US, this takeover endangers US military information. The United States concluded that the 5th generation fighter, also used by its main allies, cannot be operated by a country equipped with a Russian surface-to-air missile system, the main function of which is the Lockheed Martin Shoot down the F-35. The risk that the Turks will dump the fighter aircraft data into the S-400 system and that that data will reach the manufacturer, which gives Russia an edge and undermines the superiority of an aviation program in which Western countries have invested billions of dollars.

This argument applies even if the new administration takes over. Our position has not changed, Kirby said at a press conference at the Pentagon, adding: The S-400 is incompatible with the F-35 and Turkey has been suspended from that program.

The United States again urges Ankara not to maintain the S-400, a long-range anti-aircraft system it has received since 2019. Instead, Turkey should invest in the US-made Patriot air defense missile system, she announced. Turkey has had multiple options to buy the American Patriot Defense System over the past decade, opting instead to purchase the S-400, which will provide Russia with income, access and influence, Kirby added.

In this context, Turkey received Washington’s approval in 2018 to purchase the Raytheon MIM-104 Patriot system. Although all has been said, the Spanish government has given Ankara the patriot’s defense capacity since 2015. In principle, this was a solidarity mission from NATO, from which they withdrew before the Islamist turnaround, the invasion of Syria, and the rapprochement with Russia, the majority of the allies.

Upon his return to the United States, his Air Force, or USAF (United States Air Force), bought the eight F-35As, which were originally built for Turkey and never shipped, under a contract of $ 861.7 million. The country had already placed the order when it was expelled and parts of the F-35 will be removed from the supply chain. This process will take another two years so as not to affect the hunter’s production chain in Fort Worth, Texas.

In December, the United States sanctioned Turkey for adopting the S-400 under federal law, despite the Trump administration neglecting to do so for more than a year. The North American National Defense Approval Act for 2021 also mandated that the government must impose at least five sanctions on Turkey within 30 days, as required by law to sanction America’s opponents through sanctions, or CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act ) of 2017 to meet its proclamation on January 1st.

President Biden could end these sanctions by certifying to Congress that Turkey and anyone acting on its behalf no longer owns the S-400 or later, that Russian citizens or their contractors operate or maintain defense systems in Turkey and that the United States has received reliable assurances from Ankara that they will no longer violate CAATSA.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said last year it wanted the United States to handle the dispute through dialogue and diplomacy, rather than through sanctions. (Julio Maz Sanz)

Photo: First flight of a Turkish F-35 in 2018, although they were delivered to the customer, they never left the USA. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

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