Military vehicles and equipment, parts of the S-400 air defense systems, are unloaded from a Russian transport aircraft, at Murted military airport in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, July 12, 2019. The first shipment of a Russian missile defense system has arrived in Turkey, the Turkish Defense Ministry said Friday, moving the country closer to possible U.S. sanctions and a new standoff with Washington. The U.S. has strongly urged NATO member Turkey to pull back from the deal, warning the country that it will face economic sanctions. (Turkish Defence Ministry via AP, Pool)

US kicking NATO ally Turkey out of fighter program

July 17, 2019 - 2:38 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 on 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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