Turkey blocked from US F-35 program after Russian missile purchase

A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 18 July 2019

Turkey blocked from US F-35 program after Russian missile purchase

  • “The US and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the program"

WASHINGTON: 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 US 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.
“The United States is spending between $500 and $600 million in non-recurring engineering in order to shift the supply chain,” she said.
Used by NATO and other US allies, the F-35 stealth fighter jet is the world’s most advanced jet fighter. Washington is concerned that deploying the S-400 with the F-35 would allow Russia to gain too much inside information of the stealth system.
“The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” the White House said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.
Washington has long said the acquisition may lead to Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 program.
The Pentagon had already laid out a plan to remove Turkey from the program, including halting any new training for Turkish pilots on the advanced aircraft.
“The situation with Turkey is a government-to-government matter and we’ll comply with any guidance issued by the United States Government,” said a spokesperson for Lockheed Martin Corp. , the prime contractor on the jet.


Jordan police clash with protesters over anti-smuggling efforts

Updated 44 min 59 sec ago

Jordan police clash with protesters over anti-smuggling efforts

  • The clashes erupted last week between police and protesters in the northern city of Ramtha

AMMAN: Jordanian officials have reached a deal with local representatives to end two days of clashes over government efforts to curb cross-border cigarette smuggling from Syria.
The clashes erupted last week between police and protesters in the northern city of Ramtha. Many residents of the impoverished city have made a living selling cigarettes that were smuggled in Syria for a profit in Jordan, prompting the government to tighten customs regulations.
In recent days, protesters blocked streets with stones and tires and threw fire bombs at police, who fired tear gas to disperse them.
Such anti-government violence is rare in Jordan.
Petra news agency and other local media reported the agreement to end clashes on Sunday.