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USA, ultimatum to Turkey

Ankara will have to choose between F-35 aircraft and S-400 missiles

With us or against us. The US ultimatum to Turkey has arrived: by the end of July, Ankara will have to choose between the United States (thus remaining both as a buyer and as a developer in Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter airplanes), and Russia (accepting delivery of the anti-aircraft defense missiles S-400). US interim defense minister Patrick Shanahan notified it in a letter to his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akari.

The move was likely (see AVIONEWS): Turkey, which signed to buy 100 F-35A and invested in the program for the construction and development of these fighters, will not be allowed to equip itself with both equipments. Russian missiles are considered a threat to US fighters and therefore to the entire NATO defense system. The joint use of the F-35s with the S-400s would undermine their security, argues Washington, who fears that crucial information on the latest generation fighters will be available to Moscow.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had proposed to Donald Trump a work table to discuss the critical issues, but he did not retreat from the commitment made with the Kremlin. The White House reaffirmed the closure and sent the aut-aut to Ankara: the training of Turkish pilots will end on July 31th and all the personnel linked to the F-35 program will have to leave the country by the end of that month, at the same time with the expected delivery of the first batch of S-400.

DDB - 1222154

© AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency Srl