The Defense Department has issued a report warning that Turkey’s plan to buy a Russian missile system could disrupt the international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet program and even impact NATO, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Turkey, under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has agreed to procure the S-400 from Russia.
The initial delivery date could be as early as July 2019.
But the U.S. government has made clear to the Turkish government that purchasing the S-400 “would have unavoidable negative consequences for U.S.-Turkey bilateral relations, as well as Turkey’s role in NATO,” the report said.
Options include “sanctions under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” the report said, adding there’s also a “risk” to Turkish participation in the F-35 program, both through aircraft acquisition and industrial workshare.
Other arms sales to Turkey could be discontinued, and there would be “new vulnerabilities from Turkey’s increased dependence on Russia,” it said.
The administration “will reassess Turkey’s continued participation as one of eight partner nations should they continue with their purchase of the S-400.”
“Turkish acquisition programs that could be affected include but are not limited to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, PATRIOT Air and Missile Defense System, CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopter, UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter, and the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.”
Turkey, which became a secular democracy after 500 years of Ottoman Islamic rule, has returned to its radical roots in recent years.
That has caused concern among those who partner with it in NATO and elsewhere.
The nation holds a unique position at the confluence of Europe, Russia, the Middle East and the Caucasus, and it mostly shares regional interests with the U.S.