A U.S. Senate committee swiftly passed the latest version of a $716 billion defense bill last week, including a hard-hitting measure to block Turkey from acquiring Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.
Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis are responsible for the new amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would eliminate Turkey from the F-35 program over its recent purchase of Russian S-400 anti-missile system.
In response, Turkey pivoted towards Russia, and is expected to acquire Sukhoi SU-57 fifth-generation fighter jets, if Washington chooses to suspend Ankara from the F-35 program.
“Turkey’s manufacturing partner in the US Senate that the F-35 to even want to put embargoes can change the defensive equation. Ankara will not give up its right on the plane it expects to deliver in June. But the option for Russian-made SU has begun to be discussed,” according to the Yeni Safak Turkish newspaper.
Nevertheless, according to the Turkish newspaper, Ankara is not abandoning its claim to the expensive American fifth-generation fighter jet, with the first of 21 F-35 planes expected to arrive in June. Turkey has merely initiated new discussions as an alternative to the expensive F-35 program if Washington terminates the contract. That alternative, well, is the low-cost Russian-made Su-57 jets, which are nearly halved in price compared to the F-35s.
As of Monday, Ankara has made no official statements on that matter.
Full article: Turkey May Purchase Russian Stealth Fighters If Delivery Of US F-35s Is Halted (ZeroHedge)