09:06 GMT +323 September 2018
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    Turkey Reportedly Receives Its First F-35s Despite Congress' Ban

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    The US Congress passed a bill earlier that was meant to prevent the Pentagon from delivering its newest jet to Turkey unless the latter drops its intention to acquire Russian S-400 air defense systems. Congressmen believe that Russia could use its S-400s to reveal secret details about the F-35.

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported that Turkey has officially received its first F-35 during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin's HQ. The new jet will soon be transferred to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where Turkish pilots and maintenance teams will reportedly be undertaking a lengthy training program.

    Turkey plans to acquire 100 F-35 jets, with the first planes to be delivered to Turkey in 2020. Turkey is among the countries that contributed to the development and production of the new fifth generation stealth fighter jet.

    READ MORE: Despite US Senate Vote, Turkey Expects F-35 Jets in 2020 — Foreign Minister

    Their shipment has long been in question due to opposition in Congress, where lawmakers are concerned by the fact that Turkey has signed a deal to buy Russian S-400 air defense systems. They believe that Russia could use the S-400s to reveal secret details and weaknesses of the F-35s.

    Congress has passed a bill that requires the Pentagon to present a report on whether the jet will be compromised due to Turkey's use of S-400s, before it can transfer the F-35s to Turkey. Ankara has slammed Washington's demands to abandon its S-400 purchase as "blackmail" and urged it to fulfil its obligations, as Turkey has fulfilled its end of the deal.

    Related:

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    US Threatens Turkey With 'Ripple Effect' for F-35 Deal Amid Row Over S-400
    Erdogan Again Warns US Not to Abandon F-35 Deal Over S-400 Supplies to Turkey
    Is Turkey at a Crossroads Between US F-35 and Russian S-400?
    Turkey Shrugs Off US Attempts to Link S-400 Deal With Russia to F-35 Supplies
    Turkish Defense Minister: S-400 Deal Will Not Affect Talks on F-35 Deliveries
    Tags:
    tests, ban, F-35 Lightning II, S-400, Lockheed Martin, Turkey, United States
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