Trump searches for justice: Washington refuses to sell F-35 jets to Turkey
The United States has closed the door on the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey yesterday. Washington was offended by the fact that Ankara bought Russia's S-400 systems. The $2.5 billion contract to supply Ankara with Moscow's four S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries was signed back in 2017, and until recently the United States tried to talk its NATO partners out of making this deal, including threatening Ankara with sanctions, but it resisted persuasion and threats, and on July 12 the first military aircraft with components for missile systems arrived in Turkey.
Upon learning of this, the U.S. president said: "Turkey has also ordered over a hundred F-35 planes and they have plans to order more. But because they have a system of missiles that’s made in Russia, they’re now prohibited from buying over a hundred planes." U.S. officials fear that if Ankara gets both the S-400 and the F-35, then the Russian system's radars will learn how to spot and track these aircraft.
It is not yet clear whether the United States will impose sanctions on Turkey under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. "It’s a very tough situation that they’re in. And it’s a very tough situation that we’ve been placed in — the United States... We’ll see what happens. But it’s not really fair," Donald Trump believes.
Experts say that if Washington imposes sanctions, it will become one of the most serious conflicts in bilateral relations. In addition, now the United States is faced with the question of what to do with fighters, as about 30 of F-35s are in various stages of production. Analysts name several Eastern European and the Baltic states as potential buyers: Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Ukraine.
According to the Military Arms, the first of the American allies to receive two F-35 Lightning II fighter jets was Israel, whose leadership was impressed by the operational capabilities of the fifth-generation fighter. Israel's Air Force Commander, General Eshel has called the F-35 "game changing," which will help his country maintain its air superiority in the region in the next decade, as well as level the threat posed by Russia's S-400 missile defense systems deployed in Syria. Efforts to develop the F-35 began in the late 1980s, but its readiness raises questions to this day. The program has become the most expensive military project ever built, but despite the billions of dollars spent and years of development, the F-35 design flaws are constantly revealed. Denmark withdrew from the program in 2010, later this decision was partially revised, but a year later Australia has scrapped plans to purchase fighters, arguing that the cost of the aircraft had almost doubled and the start of deliveries was delayed by seven years. Canada and Japan said that they may refuse to purchase the F-35 if the price continues to rise.