WASHINGTON: The US says it is removing Turkey from its F-35 fighter jets program after Ankara received the first parts of a Russian missile defence system.
The US says the “F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence-collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities”.
Russia began delivering its advanced S-400 system to Turkey last week.
Turkey and the US are key Nato allies – but Ankara has also been establishing closer links with Russia.
The first parts of the S-400 air defence system were flown to the Murted military airbase northwest of Ankara on Friday, sealing Turkey’s deal with Russia, which Washington had struggled for months to prevent.
“The US and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the programme and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the programme,” said Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defence for acquisition and sustainment at the Pentagon.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said the move was unfair and could affect relations between the two countries.