The Turkish purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system could create problems for the NATO alliance and be “an issue” in relation to Turkey’s use of the F-35 fighter jet, Defense News said.
“Right now, I can tell you our policies do not allow us to be interoperable with that system,” it quoted Heidi Grant, deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Air Force, as saying.
Turkey’s F-35s are due to be delivered in 2018 and, according to Grant, Turkey operating S-400s at the same time risks leaking vital information.
“It’s a significant concern, not only to the United States, because we need to protect this high-end technology, fifth-generation technology,” she said.
Defense News said that Russia could use data collected by the S-400s to work out the vulnerabilities of the jets.
“For a platform like the F-35, whose major strengths are its stealth and data fusion capabilities, that would be a disaster,” it said.
Saudi Arabia, while not a member of NATO, is facing similar concerns over its recent purchase of the S-400 system, which it plans to use alongside American anti-missile systems.