Sunday, 7 April 2019

Pentagon considers expanding F-35 sales to Turkey's neighbours | Ahval

Frank Crebas 2018

Pentagon considers expanding F-35 sales to Turkey's neighbours | Ahval The United States is considering expanding sales of F-35 stealth fighter aircraft to five new nations as Turkey’s planned purchase of Russian missile defence systems led to the suspension of F-35 sales to the country, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Vice Admiral Mathias Winter, the head of the Pentagon’s F-35 office, said in a written statement to the U.S. House of Representatives that new potential customers include Greece, Romania, Poland, Spain and Singapore, according to Reuters.

The United States on April 1 halted shipping equipment related to the F-35 stealth fighter aircraft to Turkey after the latter insisted on purchasing Russian S-400 missile systems. Pentagon says the S-400s are not interoperable with NATO systems and would compromise the security of the F-35.

This was the first concrete step Washington has taken toward blocking the transfer of the jets to its NATO ally.

Greek Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis said on Friday that Athens will consider the possibility of acquiring the US-made F-35 fighter jets as part of its efforts to upgrade its Air Force fleet, according to Greek news site Ekathimerini. 

“The statement by the US Congress helps in this perspective. We will examine it, all the elements, and see what will happen,” said Apostolakis. 

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