Turkey’s loss of F-35 is Israel’s gain - Jerusalem Post

The U.S.’ decision to halt delivery of F-35 fighter jet equipment to Turkey due to Ankara's purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defence system has enabled Israel to maintain aerial superiority in the Middle East, the Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday. 

Tensions between NATO allies the United States and Turkey have spiked in recent weeks over Turkey’s planned purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system, which Washington views as a move that would jeopardise the secrecy of its own and NATO technologies.

The U.S. Congress blocked the transfer of equipment related to the F-35 to Turkey on Monday, and a bipartisan bill introduced last week will ban the transfer of the jet if the S-400 purchase goes ahead.

Israel has 14 custom-built F-35I Adir jets and expects to have 50 by 2024, the Jerusalem Post said. 

Israel’s joint drills the Greek Air Force over the island of Crete where one Russian air defence system is stationed have enabled the Israeli military to gather data on how Russian equipment might be blinded or fooled, it said. 

According to the Jerusalem Post, there are fears that Turkey’s purchase of S-400 systems could provide an opportunity for S-400s to learn the weak spots of F-35 fighter jets. 

Turkey-Israel relations have also been strained in the last month, as the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged insults as they sought to consolidate their bases ahead of elections.