FILE - In this March 29, 2019, photo, a U.S. F-35A fighter jet prepares to land at Chungju Air Base in Chungju, South Korea. The White House says Turkey can no longer be part of the American F-35 fighter jet program. In a written statement, the White House said Wednesday that Turkey’s decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system “renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible.” (Kang Jong-min/Newsis via AP)

US kicking NATO ally Turkey out of fighter program

July 17, 2019 - 2:48 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says Turkey can no longer be part of the American F-35 fighter jet program.

In a written statement, the White House said Wednesday that Turkey's decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system "renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible."

The White House did not say explicitly that Turkey will be kicked out of the F-35 program, but the Pentagon was expected to do so.

Turkey makes numerous components for the stealth aircraft. If Turkey is removed, as expected, the U.S. will have to find alternative suppliers.

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that the S-400 purchase means Turkey will not be allowed to purchase any F-35 planes.

Yet to be announced is whether the U.S. will impose economic sanctions on Turkey for its decision.

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