Turkish Defense Minister Expects Delivery Of US F-35 Fighters In November

Turkish Defense Minister Expects Delivery of US F-35 Fighters in November

Ankara expects the delivery of US-made F-35 fighter jets in November despite the US criticism of Turkey's decision to buy Russian S-400 Triumph air defense systems (NATO reporting name

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th March, 2019) Ankara expects the delivery of US-made F-35 fighter jets in November despite the US criticism of Turkey's decision to buy Russian S-400 Triumph air defense systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler), Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday.

"Despite some statements, the process of procuring F-35 jets is working fine. Our pilots and maintenance team continue training in the US ... expect delivery of F-35s in November to [Turkey's eastern] Malatya province. Infrastructure preparations in Malatya have been completed," Akar told reporters, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

Turkey is planning to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets from the United States with its pilots being trained at the Luke Air Force Base in the US state of Arizona.

In December 2017, Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement to supply S-400 air defense systems to Ankara. In mid-April, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell said Ankara's purchase of the S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia could negatively affect the delivery of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to Turkey. In addition, a group of senators comprising both Republicans and Democrats wants to block the supply of F-35s to Ankara due to the arrest of US Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being tried on charges of aiding terrorist groups.

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