Acting Pentagon chief Pat Shanahan has warned Turkey over plans to buy a Russian missile defense system, while a US senator has asked whether Ankara is seeking to leave NATO.
Turkey has rejected a US proposal to deliver one Patriot missile defense system by the end of 2019 provided that Ankara abandons a deal to buy the S-400 missile defense system from Russia.
Shanahan warned that the purchase would imperil prospects to sell the NATO ally the next-generation F-35 jet Turkey is helping to build.
“My position is that the S-400 and F-35 are incompatible – meaning that they don’t go together,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying in an interview in his Pentagon office.
Turkey signed a contract worth $2.5 billion in December 2017 for the purchase of the S-400 missile defense system, ignoring objections from its NATO allies.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday said that Turkey bought the Russian-made system, as it could not buy a similar one from its Western allies.