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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.