"The US will not give the F-35 to Turkey because it will change the [existing] balance", Saygun said. "It will diminish the possibilities... of Israel. They don't want that. So if we give up the S-400s, tomorrow it will be something else. If we give up that one, then they'll find something else again".
The United States had conditioned Turkey’s participation in the F-35 jet program on Ankara giving up its acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defence systems.
On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in comments regarding taking delivery of Russian S-400 air defence systems that Turkey aims to manufacture in the future advanced air defence systems jointly with Russia.
"I hope they do it," Saygun said when asked about a possibility of joint manufacturing of air and missile defence systems.
On Friday, Russia delivered the first batch of the S-400 system’s components to Turkey.
Moscow and Ankara in December 2017 signed a loan agreement for the delivery of S-400 systems. Turkey's cooperation with Russia has been strongly criticized not only by the United States but also by NATO as they continue to cite concerns over the S-400 systems’ incompatibility with NATO's air defence systems.
The United States claims that S-400 systems may compromise F-35 jet operations. Washington announced in June that it would not train Turkish pilots to operate the F-35 jet unless Turkey abandoned its agreement with Russia. Turkey has insisted that it will not give up its $2.5-billion contract with Russia concerning the S-400 systems.
According to media reports, the United States has readied a package of sanctions against Turkey over the procurement of S-400 systems, which it may announce later in July.
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