Turkey's S-400 Purchase Poses ‘National Security Problem’ to NATO, Media Claims

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S-400 regiment enters on duty in Crimea - Sputnik International
The development comes after Washington reiterated its warning last week that if Turkey purchases the S-400 systems, Washington will have to reassess Ankara's participation in the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet programme.

Reuters has quoted unnamed US officials as saying that Turkey's push to purchase Russian S-400 missile systems along with US F-35 fighter jets poses a national security problem to NATO.

“The gravity of the risk to the F-35 both to the United States and to NATO allies is such that the two systems cannot be co-located”, they underlined.

READ MORE: Erdogan Again Warns US Not to Abandon F-35 Deal Over S-400 Supplies to Turkey

The officials pledged that Washington will continue to work on “a range of options to ensure that Turkey’s participation in the NATO alliance and bilateral relationship can continue unabated and unimpinged”.

Their remarks came after General Tod Wolters, NATO allied air commander, argued that the S-400’s capabilities could allow the missile system to better understand the capabilities of the F-35 warplanes, which he said is "certainly not to the advantage of the coalition".

Wolters added that NATO is concerned about “how much, for how long, and how close” the F-35 would operate near the S-400s.

READ MORE: US Threatens Turkey With 'Ripple Effect' for F-35 Deal Amid Row Over S-400

He was echoed by retired US Air Force Lieutenant General David Deptula who told Business Insider the S-400s systems’ integration into Turkey’s air defences could lead to “technology transfer and possible compromises of F-35 advantages to the S-400”.

F-35 - Sputnik International
F-35: ‘The US is Putting Pressure on Ankara to Distance from Moscow’ - Author
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for his part, reaffirmed his country's commitment to the S-400 deal with Russia and added that the acquisition of advanced S-500 systems is also on the table.

The US has repeatedly warned that it would block the delivery of its fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey if Ankara went ahead with the procurement of the Russian air defence systems.

READ MORE: Erdogan's Adviser Doubts US Will Ditch F-35 Deal With Turkey Amid S-400 Row

Ankara has repeatedly slammed Washington's warnings, noting that it has fulfilled all its obligations for F-35 supplies and that there are no reasons to halt the F-35 shipments to Turkey.

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