Turkey’s S-400 purchase will result in consequences for F-35 deal - U.S. official

Turkey should expect that if it moves forward with the purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems, it will face consequences in its participation of U.S. industrial projects, including its deal on U.S. F-35 fighter jets, said Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs A. Wess Mitchell on Tuesday.

The assistant secretary’s comments, made during a press conference at the Conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, arrive as uncertainty looms over Ankara regarding the U.S. delivery of more than 100 F-35 fighter jets from the United States this month. A bill making its way through U.S. Congress is aiming to block the sale of the jets due, among other reasons, Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems. 

‘’Our goal has to be keeping Turkey pointed toward a Western future, both strategically and politically,’’ Wess said, adding however, ‘’We’ve been clear that if Turkey moves forward with the purchase of S-400 systems, what the U.S. response would be.’’

Ankara is slated to buy two batteries of S-400 missiles from Russia, which will be manned by Turkish military personnel. Russia has agreed to provide technological know-how for the production of a new generation of Turkish air defense systems. Meanwhile, NATO member countries have spoken out against the purchase as they claim the S-400 is not compatible with NATO systems.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu earlier this month stated that Turkey would knock on another door if the United States does not come through with the delivery of the Lockheed Martin's F-35 advanced fighter jets.