Russia plans to deliver its S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey in July, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday.
In early June, the Pentagon warned Turkey that it would halt training of its pilots on the F-35 fighter jet programme at the end of July. Acting US Defence Secretary Shanahan announced that Turkish pilots which were undergoing training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona would have time to finish their studies by 31 July, adding that new pilots from Turkey would not be accepted.
In addition, the US Department of Defence (DOD) signalled that it would transfer Turkey’s participation in the F-35 programme to other countries by 2020 in case Ankara proceeds with its decision to deploy the Russian-made S-400 in the country. Turkey has invested heavily in the F-35 project with Turkish industries producing almost 937 parts for the American stealth multirole fighter.
NATO member Turkey’s S-400 deal with Moscow has angered the United States, which has threatened to remove Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet program unless Turkey pulls out of the deal.