FAST FIVE: Turkey To Receive Russian S-400 Delivery In July, Rejects US Patriot Systems Offer
Turkey is now venting its wrath as its F-35 standoff with Washington is thrust to the next level, and after Friday President Trump signed a spending bill that blocks further F-35 transfers until November 1st of 2019, which gives the White House a window of time to evaluate if Ankara will indeed move forward with transfer of Russia's S-400 air defense system to Turkey.
He further ruled out the American Patriot defense systems as it currently stands, according to Turkish media reports.
He further stated that “delivery process of S-400 to Turkey will start by July 2019 and the system will be active by October of 2019” in a staunch assertion sure to be noticed by the Pentagon. The advanced S-400 air defense system purchased by Turkey has been seen as a threat by the United States, given the potential for compromising the F-35 advanced radar evading and electronics capabilities.
The main argument for blocking the F-35 transfer is the fear that Russia would get access to the extremely advanced Joint Strike Fighter stealth aircraft, enabling Moscow to detect and exploit its vulnerabilities. Russia would ultimately learn how the S-400 could take out an F-35.
Earlier in the week Turkish President Erdogan said during a speech that three unmet conditions for the purchase of the Patriots must be deciding factors: technology transfer, co-production and financial support. Russia's S-400 Missile System could make the F-35 Stealth Fighter obsolete Erdogan reaffirmed that his country is moving forward at full speed to receive and install the Russian S-400, saying Monday: “We asked Western allies for the delivery of air defense systems, but the existing systems were withdrawn let alone giving a new one,” he said in reference to the US's Patriot systems deployed in southern Turkey to protect its borders from threats of the Syria war. While not naming the United States, he said “Turkey's ally” was pressuring it to change its mind.